At Salehurst, we use a structured, synthetic phonics approach to make sure that our children get off to an excellent start on their journey to become independent readers. We use the Phonics Play planning resouces as a starting point for what we will teach, but amend and enhance this to ensure that the teaching and learning of phonics is as dynamic and tailored to individual needs as possible.
Synthetic phonics involves teaching children how words can be segmented into their smallest component phonemes (sounds). Once children can attach a sound to a letter or groups of letters e.g. the letter 'm' shows a 'mmmm' sound, then they can start to use this knowledge to blend sounds together in order to read words and use a plausible letter to show a given sound in a word they want to spell. When this knowledge starts to click into place it is a very exciting time for all of us!
Whilst many words in the English language are phonetically regular, there are some tricky words that don't conform to the rules! Words like 'the', 'to', 'no' etc can't be sounded out. Therefore these words are taught using 'whole word' recognition. The children quickly become adept at spotting these words in texts and when they're out and about.
In order to keep track of where children are in their phonic development, each child is individually assessed on a weekly basis. This enables us to tailor support as needed and, when they're ready, match children to an appropriately challenging phonics reading book. We will share your child's successes with you in their reading records, as well as providing tips for things that you can help them with at home.
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