What is Phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:
– recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
– identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make such as /sh/ or /ee/; and
– blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.
Children can then use this knowledge to ‘decode’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.
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. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7.
Almost all children who receive good 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.
(The information above is directly from the Department of Education’s ‘Learning to read through phonics : information for parents’ document .)
At Middlefield Community Primary School, we follow the Letters and Sounds document as our core programme to support with our planning and teaching of synthetic phonics. The Letters and Sounds document provides information and guidelines on how best to equip children’s phonic knowledge from Nursery to the end of KS1.
We have adapted our teaching to ensure that all the elements of the new National Curriculum (2014) have been included and therefore being taught to all pupils.