What is Phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language. Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of individual letters and how those letters sound when they’re combined will help children decode words as they read.

Understanding phonics will also help children know which letters to use when they are writing words. It involves matching the sounds of spoken English with individual letters or groups of letters. For example, the sound k can be spelled as c, k, ck or ch.

Teaching children to blend the sounds of letters together helps them decode unfamiliar or unknown words by sounding them out. For example, when a child is taught the sounds for the letters t, p, a and s, they can start to build up the words: “tap”, “taps”, “pat”, “pats” and “sat”.

Letters and Sounds

At Comberbach, we teach children phonics using 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.

All children in EYFS and KS1 have a daily Letters and Sounds lesson. In addition to this, if an individual pupil requires phonics into KS2, specific phonics sessions are incorporated into their timetable. Children progress to statutory spelling patterns in KS2 once their phonic knowledge is secure.

If you would like any further support with phonics, or ideas on how you can help your child at home, please contact your child’s class teacher who will be more than happy to help.

Early Reading

We are passionate about getting children reading. Our high quality, fast-paced phonics teaching is supported by the use of high-quality books which are closely matched to the current phonic phase of each pupil. We use the ‘PhonicBooks’ books within our guided reading sessions. Pupils also have access to book banded books; children are assessed frequently to ensure that they are currently accessing the correct book band for their reading ability.