What is phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read. It involves children:
- Matching sounds to a letter (s, a) or groups of letters (sh, oo).
- Blending sounds together to read a word.
In Pinhoe Primary School we use a phonics programme called Success for All (SfA). Phonics is taught daily in EYFS and KS1 alongside a reading lesson to consolidate skills.
SfA provides some great videos to support the correct pronunciation of sounds Pure Sounds Videos
For a parents guide to SfA please find further information attached: Parent/Carer Guide to SfA
This is the smallest unit of sound for example ‘a’ for ‘apple’.
A grapheme is the way the phoneme is written down- the symbols for the sound.
Grapheme- phoneme correspondence. The relationship between the phoneme and the grapheme.
Two letters working together to make one sound e.g. ‘sh’ or ‘oo’.
A trigraph is a grapheme that comprises three letters e.g ‘igh’- light.
A split digraph is a digraph that is split by a consonant e.g. ‘a-e’- snake.
The opposite skill to blending. It involves being able to break a word down into its phonemes.
The opposite to segmenting. To say the sounds in individual words sufficiently quickly that they blend together to make a word.
It is important to use the ‘pure sound’ when segmenting, blending or reading. This means to say ‘mmm’ instead of ‘muh’ for example. This is
SfA provides a brilliant video showcasing the ‘pure sounds’ Pure Sounds Videos
Phrases and letter writing cues
Each phoneme has an alliterative phrase and a letter formation phrase to accompany it. This link takes you to the SfA document showing the phrases and letter formation writing cue for all GPC’s.
These can be used alongside a sound mat to support identification and to support writing, Sound mats have images on the letters to support with letter formation.
Year 1 Phonics screening
Across the country children take part in the Phonics screening check which is carried out in Spring term. Children in Year 2 will retake the check if they achieved below the required level.
The Phonics screening check is delivered by teachers and involves children reading a list of words 1:1, this is to determine decoding and blending skills. The check takes approximately 10 minutes.
Home reading plays a huge part in children’s reading journey and we want to create a culture of enthusiastic readers at Pinhoe Primary School.
Every Friday, children take home the Shared Reader text they have been learning in school that week, children are excited to share with you how much they know and can read independently. We encourage children to read these at home with you to encourage confidence and fluency.
We also have a fantastic library at school and children will bring home a 'Reading for Pleasure' book each week to share with you at home. These are not phonetically decodable books, but stories you might like to read and enjoy with your children at bedtimes or similar.
To encourage enjoyment and reading for pleasure the local library is a fantastic place to start!
The SfA website has some more brilliant tips for reading at home.
Reception Progression map:
Year 1 Progression map:
Reception Reading Meeting Powerpoint