Reading and Phonics

Click here for information about the systematic, synthetic phonics programme we use called Essential Letters and Sounds: ELS-Parent-Presentation

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and write. It is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds and understand the link between the sound (phoneme) and the way it is written (grapheme). Here are some videos to help with pronunciation of ‘pure’ sounds.

Phase 2 sounds pronunciation,
Phase 3 sounds pronunciation:
Essential Letters and Sounds is a phonics programme in which individual letters or letter sounds are ‘blended’ to form groups of letters or sounds, and those groups are then blended to form complete words.

Children throughout Reception and Key Stage 1 take part in a daily phonics session. These focus on developing reading, writing and speaking and listening skills. The Essential Letters and Sounds programme is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. Children are also taught to read and spell ‘harder to read words’ – words with spellings that are unusual. These include the words ‘to’, ‘was’, ‘said’ and ‘the’. ‘Harder to read’ words are ones that we can’t sound out– so these words just need to be remembered. The phonic reading books that children bring home are closely matched to the sequence of teaching.

Helping with phonics at home: In addition to the advice in the presentation above, a very useful free game can be found on the internet- Teach Your Monster to Read.

Teach Your Monster: Free Phonics, Reading and Mathematics Games

Hints and tips:

  • Say the short sound of the letter, not the letter name. This will help children when they come to blend words together. For example, the letter names dee-oh-gee don’t blend together to make ‘dog’.
  • Read regularly with your child – Encourage children to recognise sounds and as they grow more confident, encourage them to blend the sounds together and to read sentences independently.
  • When you are reading to your child, emphasise the rhyming words and ask what is special about them.
  • Initial letter sound hunt – Say a sound to your child and see if they can find something in their house that starts with that letter. This also works well with ‘I spy’ but remember to use the letter sound and not its name.
  • Songs – Sing nursery rhymes and traditional songs with your child and talk to them about the patterns that they notice in the words.

Please do not hesitate to ask if you would like any more information.