Over the year’s phonics has really developed and changed from letter play to a more formal synthetic phonics teaching scheme. Schools in England have gone from using ‘Letterland’ characters, to ‘Jolly Phonics’, a Government scheme called ‘Letters and Sounds’ and now on to a more modern scheme called ‘Read Write Inc’.
As an Early Years parent, we know it can be daunting to understand how best to support your child, so the ‘stay and play’ session was really welcomed this week. During this session, parents learnt about how they do not have to push their youngest children to read and write letters until they are ready. In the F1 and F2 classes, parents were able to see what was involved in the phonics teaching and how they need to focus on the general sound discrimination through activities linked to environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body percussion, voice sounds, rhythm and rhyme.
It is so important that the children learn to tune into sounds through auditory discrimination, listen and remember sounds through auditory memory and sequencing and to talk about the sounds, which in turn develops their vocabulary and language comprehension. The F1 and F2 classes focused on a variety activities involving matching environmental sounds, lotto games, naming the hidden instruments, listening walks, rhyming soup and animal noises.
When parents came up to F3, they saw more of a focus on the phonemes (letter sounds) and graphemes (letter names) which is the next phase in the children’s learning. In F3, the children learn one sound a week in English and one sound in Vietnamese. They focus on recognising objects and new vocabulary that starts with these initial letters. When they know several letters, they can then start orally to blend and segment a variety of words. Activities in the classrooms were linked to learning to hear, read and write sounds in words. They used letter magnets, whiteboards and puzzles.
APPs to support Phonics
ABC pocketphonics lite
PP Phase 2
Twinkl Phonics Phase 2 Pop
Duck Duck Moose Reading
Hairy Phonics 1
Miss Julie Walton
Head of Early Years