Phonics is taught daily to all children in EYFS (Reception) and Key Stay One. We use the Letters and Sounds programme to teach children letters of the alphabet (grapheme) and their corresponding sound (phoneme). In EYFS we sometimes use actions to help us remember these sounds.
What is Phonics?
Phonics introduces young children to the joy and wonder of books. It is is a way of teaching reading skilfully and quickly. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.
Children are taught how to:
- Recognise the sounds that individual letters make
- Identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make-such as ‘ng’, ‘th’, ‘ee’
- Blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. Blending means pushing all the sounds together to make a word.
Children then apply this knowledge to decode unfamiliar words. This is the first, vital step in order to teach children how to read.
It is a statutory requirement that schools must complete a Phonics Screening check with all Year 1 children. Children who do not reach the required standard will then repeat this process in Year 2. The Phonic Assessment is based on real and nonsense words in order to assess their ability to read and blend the given sounds.
Why do we teach Phonics?
Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way-starting with the easiest sounds and progressing to the most complex-it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7 years old. Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills that they need to tackle new words. Children can go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and read for enjoyment. (Department for Education)
The National Literacy Trust states that “understanding phonics will also help children know which letters to use when they are writing words.”
Support at home
Please use the following links to websites. You might find them useful to support your child in their early reading and writing skills. If you are unsure what phase your child is working within then please ask your child’s class teacher.
If you want to see an example of a past Year 1 Phonics Screening paper then click here.
Follow the links to useful websites by selecting the titles below: