At Falcons, children are taught to read and write using phonics, which is all about the sounds that make up words. We teach phonics at the same time every day so that we can group pupils across different year groups. This allows each teacher or teaching assistant to teach at just the right level for their group of children.
Step 1: Children take part in games and activities which develop their listening skills. They learn to listen carefully and discriminate between the different sounds that they hear.
Step 2: They are taught the sounds made by the individual letters of the alphabet, e.g. o as in octopus or mop. We use a picture and saying to help children to remember the sounds. They need to be able to say the sound quickly when they see the letter if they are going to be able to use phonics fluently!
Step 3: Children learn how to put the sounds together to read and write simple words, e.g. p-r-a m, pram. We use our ‘Fred fingers’ to split a word up into sounds.
Step 4: Then they learn how letters combine to make new sounds, e.g. s and h join to make the ‘sh’ sound as in fish or a and y join to make the ‘ay’ sound as in day. This means that they can move on to reading and writing longer and more complex words.
Step 5: Learning to use phonics effectively in reading and writing is a skill built up over many years- even into adulthood! Children need to learn to choose the correct way to spell the sounds in different words.
At the end of Year 1, all pupils in England take a phonics reading test to check that they are using phonics at the level we would expect at the end of Year 1. Children are asked to use their phonic skills to read a mixture of real and nonsense (or alien) words. Year 1 parents are informed of these results.
Help at home
Use these great resources to teach your child the letter sounds, not their names. (They can learn these later).
Mr Thorne Does Phonics on youtube- many videos for sounds from simple to more tricky. A great way to learn letter sounds with your child!
Letters and sounds: Tells you all you need to know about using phonics to read and spell.
Oxford Owl: http: Lots of information on phonics. //www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/
Phonics play: Go on the free section to access games and information. http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/