Phonics

  • The words that your child speaks and reads are made up of seperate sounds, (phonemes).  Your child will learn these sounds in Reception and Key Stage One.  S/he will learn to blend the seperate sounds together to read a word.  This is what your child might call ‘sounding out’.
  • You can help your child to blend sounds by making sure that they recognise the sound that the letter/s make and say the sounds correctly.  The separate sounds in words are very short and crisp.  There should be no ‘er’ sound at the end.  So, t is ‘t’ not ‘ter’. m is ‘mmm’ not ‘mer’. ‘c a t’ not ‘cur arh tur’.  If the sounds are too long, the word will not make any sense to the reader.
  • Play oral blending games at home and when out and about.  ‘Please could you bring me the c u p. Let’s go to the sh o p s.
  • Use phoneme fingers – say each sound crisply and point to the tip of each finger; thumb first.   Fold down any unused fingers.  Run your finger across the tips and blend the sounds to read the word.

When phonics are not enough

  • Sometimes ‘sounding out’ is not enough.  Some words don’t fit the rules so other strategies are needed.
  • If your child cannot read a word suggest that they miss it out and read to the end of the sentence.  What word would make sense?
  • What sound does it begin with?
  • Does it sound right?  Ran not runned; gave not gived.
  • Does it look a bit like other words you know? e.g. if your child knows ‘could’ they might be able to read ‘should’ and ‘would’.
  • What word would make sense in this story or subject?
  • Does the picture give you a clue?

Click here to visit Phonics Play