How do we teach phonics in our school?

Posted: 30th March 2023

Reading and writing are fundamental skills that are crucial for children’s success in school and beyond. What can be done to accelerate a child’s development?

What is Phonics?

Phonics is a method of teaching children how to read and write by focusing on the sounds and letters that form words. Written letters of the alphabet represent the sounds we use in spoken language. Through phonics, children learn to:

  • Recognise sounds and their associated letters
  • Identify the sounds that combinations of letters make
  • Blend sounds together to form a word

They develop a knowledge of the English alphabetic code and master the skills required to decode words.

Why is phonics important?

Phonics is the precursor to reading, writing and spelling. It provides a key foundation for children to develop crucial literacy skills that will carry them through life. Research shows that high quality phonics teaching effectively supports younger children to master the basics of reading, with an average impact of an additional five months’ progress.

Children with accelerated reading skills are able to independently access other areas of the curriculum. The more progress they make with phonics, the more progress they will make across the board. 

How do we teach phonics?

At Elmhurst, our early years specialists have devised a successful phonics curriculum to ensure all children successfully gain phonetic knowledge and master the associated skills.

We use the Read, Write Inc phonics programme as the basis to teach children phonics.

  • This programme teaches the sounds in English and the letters that represent them. It also teaches children how to form the letters when writing.

  • The use of rhymes supports the boys in remembering the sounds and how to form the letters. Boys are taught to blend sounds together to read words. The scheme also incorporates the teaching of ‘tricky words’ or ‘sight words’.

Outside of the programme, we complement their learning with various activities in other subject areas which allow boys to apply their phonic knowledge and consolidate their learning.

To ensure all children make maximum progress, we tailor learning for individual needs and abilities.  Phonics is taught in groups from Reception to Year 2, and boys are grouped according to their phonic knowledge and reading ability to ensure that they are challenged at an appropriate level.

Phonics Success

Our strong phonics provision accelerates learning and enables our children to achieve better than the national average. Each term we assess children’s reading level using the New Group Reading Test. This allows us to closely monitor how well your child is doing and diagnostically identify gaps in their learning. 

To find out more about our curriculum at Elmhurst, why not book a personalised tour by calling 02086880661 or emailing office@elmhurstschool.net.  

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