To all the parents who were able to attend our workshop, thank you for giving up your time and I hope you found it useful.
At the workshop, we briefly talked through how we teach phonics to your children At St. Andrews. We use a program called letters and sounds which breaks the teaching of phonics (reading and writing) into phases.
In phase 1 the children secure their listening skills. They need to be able to hear and differentiate different sounds in order to move onto the next phase.
During phase 2 we teach the children to say, read and write the first set of phonemes. s, a, t, p, i, n, m, d, g, o, c, k, ck, e, u, r, l, h, f, b, ss, ff, ll.
In phase 3 sessions, your child will learn the next set of phonemes which can be represented with more than 1 letter. j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu, ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo (long – moon and short hook) ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er.
Phase 4 is the consolidation of all the sounds. Also looking at words with more than one syllable and words with more than 3 sounds – for instance – s-t-o-p, b-r-a-n-ch.
We demonstrated the correct pronunciation of the sounds, by saying there’s no ‘uh’ in phonics. Listen to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ksblMiliA8 for reference.
Then we discussed how children learn to read and write. We use the technique of blending and segmenting.
To read, the children need to be able to blend. Your child learns to recognise the 44 sounds (phonemes) and say them and then put them together in words. For example cat would be c-a-t and then the child would say cat. We encourage them use their robot arms to help with this skill/point to each letter and then draw a line underneath the word as they say the blend. It takes lots of practice and good listening ears – if your child still cannot hear the word after separating and recognising each sound we suggest you model it for them. They will get it eventually, remember – all children learn at different rates.
When it comes to writing words – this is when we teach them how to segment. Your child wants to write the word rain. They say the whole word aloud ‘rain’ and then break up the word (segment) into the individual sounds within the word ‘r – ai – n’ and they write it.
We reminded parents that we want children to be secure in hearing the sounds in words before learning the letter names (the alphabet song). Ordering and knowing the letter names are only taught during phase 3.
We set up a selection of some of the different resources we use and allowed parents to take copies of handouts they would find useful. Resources: sound mat, useful apps and websites, copy of presentation, letter formation booklet, how to help your child read booklets.
If you were unable to make it to the workshop but we still like a copy of the handouts please let me know and I will send home a pack.
Miss Storey 🙂