We teach phonics using letters and sounds.
Put simply a phoneme is a sound - Each one of the 26 letters in the alphabet has its own ‘sound' or phoneme.
This is very different to how a letter is ‘said' in the alphabet.
‘a' in ‘arrow’ 'b' in 'bat'
Of course phonics is not that simple! There are more than 26 sounds in English language, in fact there are 44 sounds in total. Some of these sounds are made up of 2 or 3 letters. 2 letter sounds are called digraphs and three letter sounds are called trigraphs.
The phonics codebreaker
Phoneme - a sound as it is said
Grapheme - a sound that is written
Digraph- two letters that work together to make the same sound
Trigraph - Three letters that work together to make the same sound
Split digraph - Two letters that work together to make the same sound, separated by another letter
We group the sounds to be taught into phases.
Here are links to videos of each phase to help you know which sounds we are learning.
Phase 2 Phase 3
To enable your child to read they need to recognise lots of sounds however they also need to be able to blend those sounds together.
Even before they recognise lots of sounds you can practise blending.
E.G Can you get your c - oa - t
This oral skill is incredibly important as recognising and blending sounds has to come together so they can crack the code and read new words for themselves.
Once children can orally blend they will begin to combine this skill with the recognition of which phoneme the letters make and begin to blend to read. They need the oral skill first.
Watch the video below to see some oral blending.