Phonics is the systematic teaching of letter sounds and the skills needed that will underpin your child’s early reading and writing.
At Mossley School the children take part in a daily 20 minute phonics session where they will participate in whole group/smaller group activities that will introduce them to all of their letter sounds and the skills of segmenting and blending. They will experience a variety of activities that will help them to recognise and use their letter sounds to read and write words.
We use both Letters and Sounds and the ‘multi-sensory’ Jolly Phonics to support the systematic teaching of phonics. The programme is split into six phases, with each phase requiring the children to be able to recognise a certain number of sounds, read/write certain tricky words and be able to apply this in their reading and writing.
As your child starts school we do a thorough assessment of what sounds your child knows. Following this we then decide what your child’s starting point is however the majority of children will experience a mixture of Phase 1 and 2 activities.
Phase 1 (see phonics guidance to the left)
Phase 1 is all about listening to sounds and learning to discriminate between different sounds. This is about sounds in everyday life, not just about sounds in speech. Phase 1 lays the essential foundations for all the teaching that follows. If children can't hear sounds and differentiate between them then they will struggle to understand that words are 'built up' of different sounds and that each sound is represented by a different letter or group of letters (a grapheme). Please click on the link below for some games to help your child.
Letters are not introduced until Phase 2. If you have a pre-school child or a child early in Reception you will find these activities particularly useful. If your child is a little older but struggles to 'hear the separate sounds' in words then you might find it useful to return to some of these activities.
During this phase the children are introduced to 19 letters which are grouped into 5 sets. We teach each sound using the Jolly Phoncis programme which has a particular song and action to go with each sound. You will find details of this on the handout that we gave you at ‘How to help your child’ and on this webpage.
We teach each set as we deem appropriate for the rate of progress that your child is making. We need to ensure that they are secure with both recognizing the sound and also using the sound in their reading.
s / a / t / p
i / n / m / d
g / o / c / k
ck / e / u / r
h / b / f, ff / l, ll / ss
Children are encouraged to begin blending the letters into words straight away. Therefore, having been taught only Set 1, children can make (and read) 'at' / 'sat' / 'pat' / 'tap' etc.
On the left hand-side of this webpage you will find a range of resources that you can print off to aid yours and your child’s recognition of the letter sounds. Please feel free to print off at a size appropriate for your child.
Please note that these resources contain all of the sounds needed for Phase 2 and Phase 3. We do recommend that you only focus on PHASE 2 at this stage (the letters above). As this is what your child will be assessed on.
A magnetic board and set of letters is a really useful resource. However, post-it notes or scraps of paper with letters drawn on them can do the job just as well. As children learn all the sets in Phase 2, they will be able to make (and read) an ever growing number of words.
Double consonants are taught early - ff / ll / ss - to show children that sometimes more than one letter represents a single sound. In the case of these letters, it is the same sound as the single letter represents. In Phase 3 children learn that this is not always the case.
The grapheme 'ck' is taught at this stage as it features in many of the early words children learn e.g. back / neck / sack.
The link above contains a variety of resources that will be useful.
HIGH FREQEUNCY WORDS AND TRICKY WORDS
Throughout the Phase 2 stage in phonics the children are also required to be able to read particular high frequency words and certain tricky words. High frequency words are those words that occur the most in early reading books and are easy for them to segment and blend (a-m, a-s, a-t) with the sounds they know.
Tricky words are those words that you cannot ‘sound out’ e.g the, I, to, no. If you try to do this the children cannot read the words.
We say to the children ‘you can’t sound them out you just have to know them’. You would need to be a magician to read them so they are trying to trick you out.
We do recommend that you print out a set of the Phase 2 high frequency words/tricky words that you will find to the left-hand side of this webpage.
We do recommend that the children learn these in a particular order as this links to the order of the sounds that we teach e.g the first set can be read using the first sounds that they learn.
Set 1: is at in it a
Set 2: as an am if
Set 3: on of up off
Set 4: can dad had I
Set 5: to no get big
Set 6: go the him his
Set 7: and not got mum
Set 8: but put into back
Segment/ing- splitting a word up into its separate sounds
e.g cat = c-a-t, hip = h-i-p
Blend/ing- putting all of the sounds together to make the word
e.g b-a-t = bat r-a-t = rat