Phonics is taught daily in foundation stage 2, year 1 and year 2. It is then consolidated throughout key stage 2.
So what is phonics?
Phonics is recommended as the first strategy that children should be taught in helping them learn to read. Words are made up from small units of sound called phonemes. Phonics teaches children to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. When phonemes are written down they are called graphemes. We teach the children to recognize the phoneme-grapheme correspondences. Once they know some of these, they can begin to sound out and blend to read words and segment to spell words.
Phonemes can be graphs, digraphs and trigraphs.
- A graph is a single letter making one sound.
s a t p i n
- A digraph is two letters making one sound.
ai ee ur oa oo
- A trigraph is three letters making one sound.
igh ear air ure
How can parents help?
You can help by practicing saying and recognizing the sounds with your child. When your child is reading their home reader, you can help them to spot digraphs and trigraphs, to sound the word out softly and then blend to read.
A good tip- After your child has sounded out, ask them to reread the sentence. This helps them to remember and understand their reading.
What are common exception words?
Common exception words are those tricky words which can't be sounded. You can support your child by regularly reading through them. You could focus on learning just 2 or 3 a week. As well as reading them you could write them. We spell out common exception words as they can't be sounded out.
The following YouTube video shows you how to best pronounce the phonemes to aid blending. It also shows the alternative graphemes for those phonemes which are spelt differently.
Here are some further links to useful phonics and reading websites.
Phonics Play- http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk
Topmarks phonics games- https://www.topmarks.co.uk/english-games/5-7-years/letters-and-sounds
The School Run- https://www.theschoolrun.com/english/phonics
BBC Bitesize phonics- http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/literacy/phonics/play/
BBC Bitesize KS1- http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zgkw2hv