An introduction to phonics for parents of Reception, Year 1 and 2 children
Phonics teaches children the link between the written letter and the sound that the written letter/s makes. Children can use this knowledge to spell and read words
How do we teach phonics in school? Through a systematic teaching programme called Letters and Sounds. Systematic – phonics is taught daily and the sounds are taught in a particular order. There are 6 phases of phonics starting in nursery and working through year 2. Nursery = Phase 1 Reception = Phase 2, 3, 4 (with phase 1 running alongside) Year 1 = Phase 5 Year 2 = Phase 6
Phase 1 • Taught in nursery • Provides the foundations for phase 2, 3 and 4 in reception • Is very much based on speaking and listening
Children are taught to: •Be aware of sounds •Listen and remember sounds – distinguish between sounds etc •Talk about sounds. These skills are taught through a focus on - Environmental sounds (general everyday sounds around us) Instrumental sounds (Musical instruments) Body percussion (Clapping, stampinhetc) Rhythm and Rhyme (Rhyming words, songs, stories) Alliteration (Words beginning with the same sound, tongue twisters) Voice sounds (Difference in voice sounds and oral blending and segmenting)
Phase 2 • Starts in reception, although Phase 1 activities will run alongside Phase 2. • This is the stage where children begin to learn the letters names, the sound the letters make and how to write the letters. • Children learn to segment (break up a word into sounds) and blend (blend the sounds back together) using the sounds they have learnt.
Phase 2 sounds and examples of words. Set 1: s, a, t, p at, as, sat, pat, tap Set 2: i, n, m, d pin, sit, pan, tin Set 3: g, o, c, k gap, dog, cot, cap Set 4: ck, e, u, r tick, duck, rag Set 5: h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss hit, bin, fin, kiss
Phase 3 • Completes the teaching of all the letters of the alphabet. • Children begin to learn sounds that are represented by two letters - digraphs (sh, th, ee) and three letter tri-graphs (igh, ear) • Continue to practise blending and segmenting words which also include the phase 3 sounds.
Phase 3 sounds and words. Set 6: j, v, w, x Set 7: y, z, zz, qu Two/three letters, one sound ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, ight, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er Examples of phase 3 words: jam, wish, sheep, night, ring, cow, van
Phase 4 • Consolidation of phase 2 and 3. • No new sounds learnt • Practise blending and segmenting with longer words such as ‘flag’ (with 4 sounds) Examples of phase 4 words: brush, crack, bring, brown
High frequency words (HF) High frequency words are the most common words that children encounter in their early reading. There are 100 in total. The 100 words can be split into the phases depending on which sounds they are made up of. Example: Phase 2 HF words contain the sounds from Phase 2 (for example it, in, is, an, off) Phase 3 HF words contain the sounds from Phase 3 (for example will, that, this, then)
Tricky words These are the words that we cannot segment. If we do, the word doesn’t sound like it should. Example: ‘the’ – if this word was read as it sounded put th-eh, it would be wrong. Unfortunately there is no easy way to learn these tricky words. Regular practise at reading and writing these words, along with explanations of why the words are ‘tricky’ is what helps children to remember them and eventually read them as the whole word, rather than try to sound out the word.
How can you help at home? Learning the letter sounds: Eye spy – for sounds Sound hunt – look for letters around us, say the sound. Flash cards/sound mats Reading school reading books daily
Segmenting Robot talk words Magnetic letters – say a word, children find the letter to represent the sounds in the word Reading words – encourage children to sound out the words
Blending Robot talk a word, children blend back together I’m thinking of a word….with the sounds m,a,t – children say the word Magnetic letters – say the sounds, push the letters together and blend.
Other games suggestions Eye Spy – Lay out the cards and say ‘I spy with my little eye….the word he/she/that etc Put the flash cards on the stairs; say the word as you stand on the step Word hunt – Hide the cards around the room, children go and hunt for the words. Ask them ‘what word have you found?’ Quick read – Put the flash cards face down in a pile, turn one over and children read the word. Time them – how fast can they read all the words? Im thinking of a word – tell the children ‘I’m thinking of a word in your pile that begins with the letter sound ‘w’ – which word am I thinking of?’ Children find the card with the matching letter then read it aloud.
Useful websites www.phonicsplay.co.uk www.mrthorne.com www.letters-and-sounds.com http://www.familylearning.org.uk/phonic_games.html www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/cebeebies/alphablocks