What is Phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:
Children can then use this knowledge to ‘decode’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.
Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way, starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex, it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.
Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.
How Do We Teach Phonics?
It is our aim to teach all children to read by the age of 7. All practitioners are committed to delivering high quality phonics on a daily basis. A systematic synthetic phonics programme is taught through the use of a scheme – ‘Read Write Inc’.
Read Write Inc is a highly structured, rigorous and dynamic programme which engages and motivates pupils to learn through the five key principles; Pace, Praise, Purpose, Participation and Passion.
Children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to sound-blend words for reading (decoding), at the same time as developing handwriting skills and spelling (encoding). Through the programme they will have the opportunity to read lively story books and non-fiction books with words they can decode, so they achieve early success in reading. The more sounds they know, the greater the range of texts they can read. The aim of Read Write Inc Phonics is for children to complete the programme as quickly as possible.
How Do We Assess Progression in Phonic Knowledge?
Children are assessed at the end of every half term so that their progress can be tracked. The assessments are cumulative which ensures that there are no gaps in their knowledge of sounds.
A phonics screening check is carried out at the end of Year 1, to assess children’s phonic knowledge and to establish whether pupils have made the expected progress.
All children are individuals and develop at different rates. The screening check ensures that teachers can personalise learning to support individual needs.
Helping Your Child With Phonics
Phonics works best when children are given plenty of encouragement and learn to enjoy reading and books. Parents play a very important part in helping with this.
Some simple steps to help your child learn to read through phonics: