Phonics

We use a fun, multi-sensory approach to developing children’s phonics knowledge. Throughout the school, staff use ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme to systematically develop children’s ability to hear, identify and manipulate sounds in order to read and spell words. ‘Letters and Sounds’ is divided into 6 phases. Alongside this program we also use ‘Jolly Phonics’, which includes actions for each sound to help the children remember the phonemes. Click here for a quick guide to the ‘Jolly Phonics’ actions.

Children take part in a 30 minute daily phonics session which is structured according to their ability level. As children progress through the school, they develop their comprehension skills as well as spelling, punctuation and grammar.   Weekly spellings are set focusing on the sound being taught that week.  They are written on a Look, Cover, Write, Check sheet to encourage the children to practice them regularly before the test at the end of the week.  Those children that have finished Phase 6 Letters and Sounds, will be following our spelling and grammar programme which focuses on rules and patterns of spelling.  

Below are some handly links to resources which will help you support your child’s learning:

Letters and SoundsPhase 2Phase 3Phase 4Phase 5

 

The following websites are also useful:

                 

 

Spellings

    
 

 

Tips on how to learn weekly spellings

Children should learn their spellings using the ‘Look, Cover, Write, Check’ Method. This encourages your child to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the word, and to see for himself if he spelt it right.

  • Look at a spelling word.

  • Cover the spelling word.

  • Visualize the covered word in the mind.

  • Write the word from memory.

  • Check what has been written with the uncovered word.

Other ways to learn spellings:

  • Find words within the word (there’s a ‘hen’ in ‘when’!)

  • Break the word up into smaller parts (Wed + nes + day = Wednesday)

  • Break the word up into sounds (th-a-nk)

  • Make up a silly sentence using the letters (big elephants cause accidents under small elephants spells ‘because’)

  • Say the word as it is written (like ‘knight’)

  • ‘Spot the problem’ – You write a correct word and an incorrect spelling e.g when   wen or sed said said.  Child circles or ticks the correct word, crosses out wrong one – like a teacher.

  • Typing the words out on a laptop is much more fun than writing it. Or in chalk/crayon/felt-tip/paint.

  • Play a form of hangman – give the first letter of the word, and then write dashes for other letters.

  • Write the word out and cut up the letters – child puts letters in correct order again.

  • Write words out on post-its and child finds the words around kitchen/lounge – like a treasure hunt.  Then he hides them – but has to write his own post-its out first.

  • Write them out in pencil and then trace each word with a different colour felt-tip.

  • Arrange the words into alphabetical order.

  • Speed Spell – how many times can child write word in one minute? Set a target – can they beat it??

  • Write each of the spelling words. Go back and circle all of the vowels in the spelling words.

 

Useful terminology

Phoneme – unit of sound – a sound in a word.

Initial sound – the first sound in a word e.g. the initial sound in cat is ‘c’, the initial sound in shop is ‘sh’

Vowel – the letters a, e, i, o and u

Short vowel sound – short a (as in cat), short e (as in egg), short i (as in igloo), short o (as in on), short u (as in up)

Long vowel sound – the name of the letters; long a (as in pain), long e (as in sheep), long i (as in night), long o (as in goat), long u (as in new). NB long vowel sounds have many different spelling patterns

Consonant – all the letters of the alphabet except a, e, i, o and u

CVC word – consonant – vowel – consonant e.g. dog

CVCC word – consonant – vowel – consonant – consonant e.g. tent

CCVC word – consonant – consonant – vowel – consonant e.g. flag

Blending – saying each sound, then merging the sounds together to read and say the word e.g. h-a-t “hat”

Segmenting – listening to the individual sounds (phonemes) within a word to break it down for writing e.g. “ship” sh-i-p

Digraph – two letters representing one sound (phoneme) e.g. bath, goat.