What is Phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. Children are first taught how to recognise the sounds each individual letter makes and identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make such as ‘sh’ and ‘oo’. Children are taught to read by breaking down words into separate sounds or ‘phonemes’. They are then taught how to blend these sounds together to read the whole word.
In the Foundation Stage we teach phonics through the ‘Letters and Sounds‘ scheme whilst using Jolly Phonics as our medium. We use Dandelion Books, a reading series, alongside our phonics programme. These are a series of decodable phonics based texts that have step by step progression.
Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way, starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to more complex sounds, this is the most effective way of teaching children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5-7. Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go onto read any kind of text fluently and confidently and to read for enjoyment.
Phonics Screening Check
Across England, all Year 1 children take part in the Phonics Screening Check in the Summer Term. The check is designed to give teachers and parents information on how your child is progressing in phonics. It will helps to identify whether your child needs additional support so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill.