'The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.'
Reading is one of the most important skills a child will master at school. Synthetic phonics is a way of teaching reading. Children are taught to read letters or groups of letters by saying the sound(s) they represent. Children can then start to read words by blending (synthesising) the sounds together to make a word. We follow a systematic approach where each grapheme is introduced clearly; a focus is placed on blending to read and segmenting to spell. This focus provides children with the skills they need to begin to read words, captions and whole sentences as soon as possible. The teaching of phonics begins in Foundation Stage using Letters and Sounds. This is a systematic, synthetic phonics programme that has been published by the Department of Education.
There are 6 progressive phases within Letters and Sounds and most children will have completed Phase 6 by the end of Year2, however this can continue into Year 3 if required. The programme enables children to see the relationship between reading and spelling, meaning they learn to blend and segment words successfully.
During phonics at Greenmeadow, we discuss the following terminology:
Phoneme: the smallest unit of sound in speech
Grapheme: how a phoneme is written down
Digraph: these are two letters that make a single sound e.g. ar, ee, ou, oy
Trigraphs: these are three letters that make a single sound e.g. igh, str
Segmenting: where you break each word into its separate phoneme, for example ‘chop’ has 3 phonemes, ch/o/p.
Blending: putting sounds back together to form a word
Some words in the English language cannot be broken down into separate phonemes. These words are known as tricky words and we teach the children to be able to read and know the whole word, for example, ‘said’ or ‘what’.
Another helpful website to support phonics is: