Like most primary schools, we use a method of teaching called 'synthetic Phonics' to help children learn to read and spell. Phonics is one method of teaching children how to read and write. It's all about sounds. There are 44 sounds in the English language, which we put together to form words. Some are represented by one letter, like 't', and some by two or more, like 'ck' in duck and 'air' in chair. Children are taught the sounds first, then which letters represent the sounds and finally how to use their phonic knowledge to blend sounds for reading and segment them for spelling. Synthetic phonics refers to 'synthesising', or blending, the sounds to read words. It's based on the idea that children should sound out unknown words and not rely on their context.
The 44 sounds (phonemes) of the English language, and the way they are written down, are taught one by one. The order of teaching these sounds has been specially developed so that children can start reading complete words as soon as possible. A phonics lesson begins with revising any sounds the children have already been taught. Then the teacher will introduce a new sound and its spelling.
We use a teaching scheme called 'Letters and Sounds' to teach Synthetic Phonics. This scheme is split into 6 Phases with the children starting Phase 2 in Reception and moving through to Phase 6 by Year 2-3.
For reading, we have a range of phonically decodable home school readers, divided into colour bands which are closely linked to the Letters and Sounds phonics phases.
Click here for some more information on the Year 1 Phonics Check.