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Synthetic Phonics And the Literacy continuum. Introducing…. Jodi Warner AP ES1 Janette Hooper- classroom teacher/ I.T. extraordinaire Tracey Currell – a recent convert to ES1 who has embraced and enhanced programs. Something to think about!.

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Synthetic Phonics

And the Literacy continuum


Jodi Warner AP ES1

Janette Hooper- classroom teacher/ I.T. extraordinaire

Tracey Currell – a recent convert to ES1 who has embraced and enhanced programs

something to think about
Something to think about!

More than any other subject or skill, our children’s futures are all but determined by how well they learn to read. 

Children of the Code 2005

something to think about1
Something to think about!

Statistically, more American children suffer long-term life-harm from the process of learning to read than from parental abuse, accidents, and all other childhood diseases and disorders combined.  

BUT WHY ???? Are your guided reading sessions like FBI questioning or a book club which encourage reading, talking and thinking ?

something to think about2
In purely economic terms, reading related difficulties cost the U.S. more than the war on terrorism, crime, and drugs combined.Something to think about!

Children of the Code 2005

what s happening
What’s Happening?

All over the English speaking world there is debate about the best way to teach beginning reading. The USA and Australia are both looking at the teaching of beginning reading and the place of synthetic phonics.

How much time and expertise is put into teaching our new teachers how children learn to read and how to teach reading ???



Over the last decade the performance of Australian students has declined at all levels of achievement, notably at the top end.

  • In 2000, only one country outperformed Australia in reading and scientific literacy and only two outperformed Australia in mathematical literacy.
  • By 2009, six countries outperformed Australia in reading and scientific literacy and 12 outperformed Australia in mathematical literacy. Gonski report 2012
teaching reading
Teaching Reading

We recognise that the teaching of reading has attracted the interest of the media in recent times.

Synthetic phonics is no fad. It is based on findings of evidence-based research about how children best learn to read.

Every school in England and Wales now needs to teach reading with Synthetic Phonics.

what is synthetic phonics
What is synthetic phonics?

This is a method that teaches children how spoken words are composed of sounds called phonemes and, how the letters in words correspond to those phonemes.

At JPPS we chose to implement this strategy

in 2011 as we needed a consistent

approach to teach spelling. It is the basis for

our scope and sequence


We don’t want c-a-t we want automatic word recognition which leads to fluency. When children read with speed, accuracy and expression, they are more likely to comprehend and remember the content

The ability to hear, focus on and manipulate phonemes in a spoken word. Having good phonemic awareness is the strongest indicator of future reading success.

Phonic knowledge gives children the tools to crack the reading code so that fluency and comprehension follow

When using a synthetic phonics approach, we discuss the meaning of new words and use this as an opportunity to expand vocabulary knowledge.

Tomake meaning from texts. Using background knowledge and vocabulary knowledge to create sensory images and then to understand what is read


Synthetic phonics refers to an approach to the teaching of reading in which phonemes (sounds) associated with particular graphemes (letters) are pronounced in isolation and blended together (synthesised). For example, children are taught to take a single-syllable word such as cat apart into its three letters, pronounce a phoneme for each letter in turn /k, a, t/, and blend the phonemes together to form a word. Synthetic phonics for writing reverses the sequence: children are taught to say the word they wish to write, segment it into its phonemes and say them in turn, for example /d, o, g/, and write a grapheme for each phoneme in turn to produce the written word, dog.


According to the K-6 literacy contiuum :

  • Phonics involves making the connection between sounds and letters when reading and spelling
  • Upon entering Kindergarten a benchmark is that a child can –
  • Identify one letter that is the same in two words
  • Identify some letter names
  • Upon leaving year 2
  • * Know common sounds for vowel diagraphs and use syllabification when reading / spelling

Phonemic awareness involves hearing and manipulating sounds in spoken language

  • Upon entering Kindergarten
  • A child repeats rhyme and notices rhyme
  • Begins to identify words that start with the same letter
  • When exiting yr 1
  • A child can manipulate phonemes and generate new words
  • Eg- swap the /p/ in spin with a /k/


  • Kindergarten teachers enter Best Start data twice a term based on continual classroom tasks, observations and work samples
  • Children are mapped and any falling behind benchmark are brought up at LST. (data supports referral and parental contact)
  • Children are grouped across grade at an appropriate level each morning for one hour to work on outcomes focussed upon in early learning plans.
  • AP produces graphs and data to display show school growth, areas of improvement and future directions

The process of reading involves 'decoding' words into separate phonemes, so that words can be read.

We call this blending of sounds ‘MAKING”

writing and spelling
Writing and Spelling

The process of writing or spelling involves ‘encoding’. Listening for each phoneme in a word and representing it with a letter(s).

This segmenting of words is called ‘BREAKING’.

what does our writing look like
What does our writing look like?

Writing with fluency and able to be retold by child

is synthetic phonics a fad
Is Synthetic Phonics a Fad?


It has been heavily researched. Some studies tracked student achievement for as long as 7 years.

This is what governments around the world are doing.

what are our beliefs
What are our beliefs?

Because our writing system is alphabetic, beginner readers must be taught how the letters of the alphabet, singly or in combination, represent the sounds of spoken language (letter-sound correspondences) and how to blend (synthesise) the sounds to read words, and break up (segment) the sounds to spell.

synthetic phonics what s it mean
Synthetic Phonics – What’s it mean?

Teaching the sounds of the English language and how these sounds (phonemes) can be written as letters.

fast efficient effective
Fast - Efficient - Effective

A group of letters is introduced at a time.

s m c t g p a o


that many letters why
That many letters? Why?

How many words can you make with these letters?

s m c t g p a o

so how many could you make
So…how many could you make?

Wow! That’s a lot for a week at school!

synthetic phonics
Synthetic Phonics

After learning how to recognise and pronounce each of the phonemes, your child will learn to ‘sound out’ simple words and to blend the phonemes together to read these words.

synthetic phonics1
Synthetic Phonics

At first we will concentrate on simple sound to letter correspondence.

This is when a phoneme is represented by a single letter as in the word /m/ /a/ /t/.


synthetic phonics2
Synthetic Phonics

Then we will concentrate the more difficult code such as one phoneme represented by 2 letters.

sh ch qu ck ng


synthetic phonics3
Synthetic Phonics

When that is mastered, your child will learn the more advanced code.

This is when a single phoneme can be represented by many letters.


here is an example
Here is an example.

How many words can you write that contain phonemes that make the “a” sound?

Eg – a as in paper

ay as in play

Keep going with your partner / table


a - paper

ay – play

ey - hey

a-e – spade

eigh – eight

ei – as in vein

ai – as in plain

but there are some irregular tricky words
But there are some irregular, tricky words!

The camera word

  • We need to learn these my heart
  • Not only are they high frequency but are also difficult to decode
teaching sequence of toolkit 1 basic code
Teaching sequence of Toolkit 1Basic Code


Follow a scope

and sequence

s m c t g p a o

r l d b f h i u

v w y z j n k e

ll ff ss zz

sh ch th wh

ck, ng, qu, x

vcc, cvcc, ccvc words

teaching sequence of toolkit 2 advanced code
Teaching Sequence of Toolkit 2Advanced Code

ai, ay, a-e, a

ee, ea, y, e, e-e

igh, y, ie, i-e, i

oa, ow, o, o-e

oo, ew, ue, u-e

Yr 1 revise K quickly

then move on

teaching sequence advanced code toolkit 2
Teaching Sequence Advanced Code – Toolkit 2

ai, ay, a-e, a aigh eigh ei ey

ee, ea, y, e, e-e e_e

igh, y, ie, i-e, i

oa, ow, o, o-e, ough

oo, ew, ue, u-e ui oi

Continue to follow

scope and sequence

teaching sequence advanced code
Teaching Sequence Advanced Code

rr, wr, r

oy, oi

ph, f, ff

ow, ou

s, ce, ss, se, soft c

oo, oul, u

ar, a

er, ir, ur, ear, or

teaching sequence advanced code1
Teaching Sequence Advanced Code

air, are, ear

j, g, dge, ge

ch, tch tu

sh, ci, ti

si, s (/zh/)

  • Using small individual whiteboards allow for instant feedback and revision
  • Take away book allows for revision
  • CD full of games to play
  • And then...... There was “phonics hero”

Featuring SUPER TED

phonics hero
Phonics Hero
  • It’s time to play !!!
  • Choose a level suitable and play a few of the games.
  • Try to match them up with Literacy continuum and see where the focus would be upon.
Questions ?
  • What we have found as a stage ......
  • Reading groups
  • Ease of programming
  • School scope and sequence
  • Reports from on-line site
  • Allows movement of children

If your interested .....

  • Or on facebook search for get reading right.