Parent Forum Early Reading November 2014

Being able to read is the most important skill
children will learn during their early schooling
and has far- reaching implications for lifelong
confidence and well - being.
(‘Letters and Sounds’ Principles and
Practice of High Quality Phonics)
It iz tiem too gow hoam sed v
kator pilla. But iy doat wont 2
gow howm sed th butt or flie. Iy
wot to staiy heyr.
 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 and
 Almost all children who receive 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.
 Children who have been taught phonics also tend to
read more accurately than those taught using other
methods, such as ‘look and say’. This includes children
who find learning to read difficult, for example those
who have dyslexia.
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and spell.
We teach the children how to:
 recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
 identify the sounds that different combinations of
letters make - such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’; and
 blend these sounds together from left to right to make
a word.
Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new
words that they hear or see. This is the first important
step in learning to read.
We also teach the children how to:
 segment (split) words for spelling.
Phonics is taught using the highly structured Letters and
Sounds programme, working through the 6 progressive
Phases. Children are taught:
The full range of common letter/ sound correspondences.
To hear separate sounds within words.
To blend sounds together.
To segment words to spell them.
Although there are 26 letters in the English alphabet,
there are more than 40 speech sounds.
Phoneme – The smallest unit of sound in a word.
Grapheme – What we write to represent a sound/
phoneme – for some phonemes, this could be more
than one letter.
Oral Blending:
Hearing a series of spoken sounds and merging
(blending) them together to make a spoken word – no text
is used.
For example, when children hear /b/u/s, they will say bus.
This skill is taught before blending using printed words.
Recognising the letter sounds in a written word, for
example c- u- p, and blending them in the order which
they are written, to read the word ‘cup’
s i t
can fit
Two letters which make one sound.
A consonant digraph contains two consonants next to
each other, but they make a single sound. e.g. sh, ck,
th, ll
Examples of consonant digraphs
sh i p s i ng
A vowel digraph contains at least one vowel but the
two letters still make a single sound. e.g. ai ee ar oy
Examples of consonant digraphs
b oo k
r ai n
c oi n
Three letters, which make one sound.
Examples of consonant digraphs
n igh t
f ear
ch air
Phase one comprises of seven aspects.
 Aspect One: Environmental Sounds
 Aspect Two: Instrumental Sounds
 Aspect Three: Body Percussion
 Aspect Four: Rhythm and Rhyme
 Aspect Five: Alliteration
 Aspect Six: Voice Sounds
 Aspect Seven: Oral Blending and segmenting
The aim of this phase is to foster children’s speaking
and listening skills as preparation for learning to read
with phonics.
By the end of phase two children should be able
to read some vc and cvc words.
Children will also learn to read the ‘tricky’ words ‘the, to, go, I
and no.’
Five sets of letters are introduced – one set per week.
Children are taught reading and spelling throughout the week.
Each session follows the same format.
The activities used to teach vary and can be adapted. They
are multisensory and appeal to different learning styles.
Children are taught another 25 graphemes.
Children will then use this knowledge to blend and
segment two syllable words.
Children continue to blend and segment CVC words for
reading and spelling.
By Phase 4 children are able to represent each of
42 phonemes by a grapheme. Children will be
able to blend and segment CVC words for reading
and spelling.
Phase 4 is consolidation of children’s knowledge.
Children are encouraged to practice blending for
reading and segmenting for spelling of adjacent
Throughout this Phase children will broaden their
knowledge of graphemes and phonemes.
They will learn alternative pronunciations of graphemes
Including split digraphs.
Children working at phase six can read lots of words
Children can decode words quickly and silently.
Children’s spelling will be phonemically accurate.
During this phase children become more fluent
readers and increasingly accurate spellers.
Each session follows the same format:
Revisit / review
Practising previously taught phonemes, digraphs or trigraphs
every day.
Practising a small number everyday helps the children remember.
Children need plenty of opportunities for “over-learning”.
The new Phoneme is introduced in memorable ways.
Stories, songs, actions, props e.g. jelly, puppets, and film clips etc.
are used.
Reinforce the learning so that it remains in the children’s minds.
Practise reading and/or spelling words with the new phoneme or
Practise previously taught phonemes / digraphs / trigraphs to
reinforce learning from earlier sessions
Demonstrate how to apply the new learning by reading or writing a
phrase or that incorporates one of the new phoneme / digraph or
trigraph. This helps ensure children understand that phonics is
related to reading and writing and is not just isolated knowledge.
Each session is taught at a good pace, about 20 – 25 minutes long.
In June all Year One children will be expected to
undertake a phonics check.
The aim is to check that a child is making progress in
If a child has not reached the expected standard we will
ensure that additional support is given to help them
progress in year 2.
Your child will sit with a teacher he or she knows and
be asked to read 40 words aloud.
Your child may have read some of the words before,
while others will be completely new.
The check normally takes just a few minutes to
complete and there is no time limit. If your child is
struggling, the teacher will stop the check.
The check will contain a mix of real words and ‘nonwords’ (or ‘nonsense words’). Your child will be told
before the check that there will be non-words that he or
she will not have seen before. Your child will be familiar
with this because we use ‘non-words’ when we teach
Non-words are important to include because words such
as ‘vap’ or ‘jound’ are new to all children. Children cannot
read the non-words by using their memory or vocabulary;
they have to use their decoding skills.

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