Phonics Information

  • *** At Oxford Grove Primary School, the phonics scheme we use is 'Letters and Sounds'. ***

    Letters_and_Sounds

    Introduction

    As you know, the ability to read and write well is a vital skill for all children, paving the way for an enjoyable and successful school experience.

    Children learn and practise many of the skills that they need for reading and writing from a very early age. They do this through a wide range of activities and experiences, at home, in settings and in school. They explore and learn through singing and saying rhymes, making and listening to music, talking with others, sharing books with adults and other children, dressing up, experimenting with writing and using puppets and toys to retell and make up stories.

     

    Children’s spoken language supports reading and writing

    In order to make a good start in reading and writing, children need to have an adult listen to them and talk to them. Speaking and listening are the foundations for reading and writing. Even everyday activities such as preparing meals, tidying up, putting shopping away and getting ready to go out offer you the chance to talk to your child, explaining what you are doing. Through these activities, children hear the way language is put together into sentences for a purpose.

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    Books are a rich source of new words for your child; words you would not use in everyday conversations appear in books. Children need to have a wide vocabulary to understand the meaning of books, so read aloud and share books as often as you can. They will enjoy it and it will be useful to them when they come across these words in their own reading later on.

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    At Oxford Grove Primary School, when children enter the Reception class, they take part in high-quality phonics sessions every day. These are fun sessions involving lots of speaking, listening and games, where the emphasis is on children’s active participation. They learn to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and in their independent play.

    What is Letters and Sounds?

    Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
    There are six overlapping phases. You can view  summary below:
     
    Phase One (Nursery/Reception)

    Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

    Phase Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks

    Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

    Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks

    The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the “simple code”, i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

    Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks

    No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

    Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)

    Now we move on to the “complex code”. Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

    Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)

    Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.

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