Systematic phonics is widely regarded as the most effective way to teach children to read. It also gives children the knowledge that they need to spell. The ultimate goal is that children will transition from slowly decoding (or sounding out) a word to rapidly recognising it. At Oakfield, we follow the Letters and Sounds guidance from the Department for Education. Phonics is taught daily throughout Saplings and Key Stage 1.
At the end of Year 1, all children will be required to take the Phonics Screening Check. This will include real and fake words, and tests the children’s ability to decode and blend using the 44 sounds that they have been taught.
More information is provided at our annual Phonics Evening in January.
Blending – putting individual sounds together to make a word (eg. s-n-a-p when blended becomes snap)
Digraph – two letters used together to make one sound (eg. ck in clock, oo in book)
Grapheme – a group of letters that represent one sound
Phoneme – the smallest unit of sound in a word
Segmenting – breaking a word down into its component sounds
Split digraph - two letters that work together to make one sound but that are separated within a word (eg. the ‘ay’ in cake)
Trigraph – three letters used together to make one sound (eg. igh in light, air in hair)
You may be interested in the following resources:
This free online course designed for parents
Phonics Play – there are a variety of games to help children with decoding
Alphablocks is a BBC programme based around phonics
Demystifying Digraphs - this video explains digraphs (sounds made with two letters, such as sh, or oo). It also shares the Jolly Phonics actions that the children learn at school for these sounds