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What do we mean by 'phonics'?
Phonics is a method for teaching reading and writing of the English language by developing learners’ awareness of the sounds within a word (Phonemes). The aim is for children to gain an understanding of the correspondence between the sounds and the different spelling patterns linked with each sound.
Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. Part of learning to read is having good knowledge of phonics.
At Avenue Primary School we use the Read Write Inc programme to teach phonics.
How will my child be taught phonics?
We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Reception class. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. Ask them to show you what these are.
The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. They then practise their reading skills with words that match the sounds they have learnt and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
What can I do to help? Is there anything that I shouldn't do?
You will be invited to a meeting so that we can explain how we teach phonics. Please come and support your child. We would very much like you to know how to help.
Your child may bring different sounds home from school to learn. Help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘push’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds.
You can hear how to say the sounds correctly at this link.
Sometimes your child might bring home a picture book that they know well. Please don’t say, ‘This is too easy.’ Instead, encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story.
We know parents and carers are very busy people. But if you can find time to read to your child as much as possible, it helps him or her to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family. You can find out about good stories to read to your child here.
Does it matter if my child misses a lesson or two?
It matters a lot if your child misses school. The way we teach children phonics is very well organised, so even one missed lesson means that your child has not learnt something that they need to know to be a good reader.