Phonics

What is phonics?

There has been a huge shift in the past few years in how we teach reading and spelling in schools. This is having a big impact and helping many children learn to read and spell. Phonics is recommended as the first strategy that children should be taught in helping them learn to read and write.  Words that we read are made up of small units of sounds called 'phonemes'.  Phonics teaches us to hear the sounds in the words and blend them together to read words and segment (separate) them to enable us to spell.

Below is a booklet that explains how we teach phonics at Shaw Ridge and gives you ideas of things you can do at home to help your child.

Helping your child with speaking and listening, reading and writing

For younger children beginning to learn to read and write, we use a synthetic phonics programme called Letters and Sounds alongside the actions of Jolly Phonics.  We know phonics can be confusing to parents (much less so for children!) so please read the information below and if you have any questions please come and see one of us. 

There are lots of websites out there that help re-inforce what we teach in school.  However some of them teach some things in different ways to which children are taught at school.  Below is a list of websites that are suitable for you to use at home with your child.  They are suited to the phonic phase that your child is working within.  They should know which phase they are working in, however if they don't or you just want to double check please ask your child's teacher.

Try to avoid the ‘uh’ sound you might have learnt to say for sounds like ‘b’, ‘c’, ‘d’ – say the ‘purest’ sound you can (a ‘short’ ‘b’ rather than ‘buh’, a long ‘mmm’ rather than ‘muh’) – ask us if you’re unsure.

Glossary of terms -

Phoneme: a single unit of sound that you can hear

Grapheme: a single unit of sound that is written

Digraph: 2 letters that make one sound e.g: oa, ie, ch

Trigraph: 3 letters that make one sound e.g: ear, air

Tricky words: words that can't be sounded out such as the, my, no, me.

CVC: A consonant-vowel-consonant word, such as cat, pin or top. You may also come across the abbreviation CCVC for consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant words such as clap and from. Also CVCC for words such as mask and belt.

General Phonic Websites

Phonics play -This is a great website and although only some games are free, it only costs £10 for an individual subscription that lasts one year - well worth it I can assure you! 

Oxford Owl - A great website with lost of books for children to read online.

Family Learning - A website that links to a variety of phonics  games.

 

Phase 1

Phase one is where children start. This is started in pre-school and continues to be taught alongside other phases in childrens reception year at school.  The main aim of phase one is for children to experience regular opportunities to listen carefully and talk about what hear, say and do.

Phase one is split into seven aspects:

1.  General sound discrimination - environmental sounds

2.  General sound discrimiantion - instrumental sounds

3.  General sound discrimination - body percussion

4.  Rhyme and Rhythm

5.  Alliteration

6.  Voice Sounds

7.  Oral blending and segmenting..

Rhythm Safari - Listen to the animal names as they are tapped out for you, with one tap per syllable, e.g. 4 taps for rhinoceros, 1 tap for snake etc. Next you have to listen to a rhythm and click on the correct animal. In the next level you are shown an animal and have to click to produce the right rhythm. CBeebies

Chit Chat chest -Listen to the sound and then guess what made it.

 

 

Phase 2

The purpose of this phase is to teach 23 of the letter sound, mainly the single sounds and move children on from oral blending and segmenting to blending and segmenting with letters.  By the end of teh phase many children should be able to read some VC and CVC words and spell them.  They will also learn some 'tricky words'.  Tricky words are words that cant be sounded out such as: the, to, no and go.

Letters and sounds pop - Choose the set of phonemes you want to play with first of all. One of them will show up in the bottom right of the screen and you will hear its sound. All you have to do is click on the bubbles with the required letter, trying to make sure that they fall into the grey catching zone. Every 30 seconds you will get a new phoneme to catch.  Only use the first 4 games for phase 2, the rest are for phase 3!

Buried Treasure - Another game from phonics play.  Children have to read the words and then decide whether they are real or made up.  Real words go in the treasure chest and made up words go in the bin!  The children will ahve played this many times before so should be experts at it!

Machine - Look at the picture and then match the correct word to it, simple!

It's a goal -Look at the goal, there's a letter missing, click on the missing letter to score a goal.

Phonics play- This is a link to the phase 2 menu page on phonics play.

Phase 2 Tricky Word Bus -Use easy mode to enable simple word to word matching. Drag the word onto the vehicle. Use the harder mode to really focus on reading, listening to the word and searching for it in the list before dragging.

Flash Card - high frequencywords -Flashcards for your child to read.  These need to be set by an adult for the phase that your child is working at.

Mr Thorne does phonics (Geraldine the Giraffe)- This is a link to a website that gives you little videos to watch all about the sounds taught in the different phases.  It also shows you how each sound is pronounced - very important!!   There are lots of these videos on You Tube and he has also brought out apps suitable for apple and android tablets.

Phase 3

The purpose of this phase is to teach the other 25 graphemes, most of them comprising of 2 letters (e.g: oa, sh)  These are called digraphs.  The children also continue to practice blending and segmenting CVC words and will apply this knowledge to reading and spelling.

The Dinosaurs Eggs- Listen for the word you need to find and press on the egg above that word. Only choose sounds on numbers 1 - 17 for phase 3.

Phase 3 Tricky Word Train - Use easy mode to enable simple word to word matching. Drag the word onto the vehicle. Use the harder mode to really focus on reading, listening to the word and searching for it in the list before dragging.

Flash Card - high frequencywords -Flashcards for your child to read.  These need to be set by an adult for the phase that your child is working at.

 

Phase 4

The purpose of this phase is to consolidate children’s knowledge of graphemes in
reading and spelling words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words.
The teaching materials in this phase provide a selection of suitable words containing adjacent
consonants. These words are for using in the activities – practising blending for reading and
segmenting for spelling.

Blending Bingo - First print off the bingo cards which are available in PDF format. Then for Phase Four you can choose whether you want CVCC words or CCVC words. Every time you clilck the "pull" button you will get a new word to blend. ICT Games.

Phase 4 Tricky words plane - Use easy mode to enable simple word to word matching. Drag the word onto the vehicle. Use the harder mode to really focus on reading, listening to the word and searching for it in the list before dragging.

Flash Card - high frequencywords -Flashcards for your child to read.  These need to be set by an adult for the phase that your child is working at.

 

Phase 5

The purpose of this phase is for children to broaden their knowledge of graphemes and
phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative
pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant. Some of the
alternatives will already have been encountered in the high-frequency words that have
been taught. Children become quicker at recognising graphemes of more than one letter
in words and at blending the phonemes they represent. When spelling words they will
learn to choose the appropriate graphemes to represent phonemes and begin to build
word-specific knowledge of the spellings of words.

Write a card - In this game children have to listen to the story and identify the chosen vowel digraphs.

Phase 5 Tricky word ship- Use easy mode to enable simple word to word matching. Drag the word onto the vehicle. Use the harder mode to really focus on reading, listening to the word and searching for it in the list before dragging.

Flash Card - high frequencywords -Flashcards for your child to read.  These need to be set by an adult for the phase that your child is working at.

BBC words and pictures - This website has a few games to play focusing on the alternative spellings for different sounds.

 

Phase 6

At the start of Phase Six, children will have already learnt the most frequently occurring grapheme–phoneme correspondences (GPCs) in the English language. They will be able to read many familiar words automatically. When they come across unfamiliar words they will in many cases be able to decode them quickly and quietly using their well-developed sounding and blending skills. With more complex words they will often be able to decode them by sounding them out.  At this stage children should be able to spell words phonemically although not always correctly. In Phase Six the main aim is for children to become more fluent readers and more accurate spellers.