On Tuesday 23 October, about 50 parents of students in EL3, EL4, KG, Grade 1 and Grade 2 attended our first Parent Phonics Workshop, held by Ms Kate and Ms Becky.
Parents learned all about the importance of children learning phonics. Learning phonics starts with children being aware of sounds around them, and moves on to learning letters and sound.
This gives children the building blocks to read and write any word they come across rather than relying on set words learned by heart. This also extends children’s potential for using new vocabulary.
Learning phonics is an approach that supports and extends English language through developing speaking, listening, reading and writing.
We follow the Letters and Sound programme, which is from the United Kingdom. It sets out the children’s learning in phonics over six phases.
Our parents learned about the importance of Phase 1, which involves lots of hands-on games, songs and activities that help children tune into sounds around them and start to think about sounds in words.
This important phase, which starts in EL2 and EL3 and continues throughout EL4 and into Kindergarten provides children with the foundations for learning to read and write as well as developing speaking and listening skills.
Our parents then learned all about letters and sounds introduced in Phases 2, 3, 4 and 5, and had fun practising making the sounds themselves.
They learned why we use letter sounds rather than letter names when we are learning to read and write, and they tried their hand at blending and segmenting, two key skills that our children learn in order to read and write.
Blending is a skill children use to read new words: they look at the sounds in a word, say each sound, then say them faster until they can push the sounds together to say the word.
As children move through the phases of Letters and Sounds, they learn to blend more sounds together and read longer words.
Segmenting is a skill children read to write new words: they say the word they want to write, then segment it (or chop it up) into its sounds before writing a letter or group of letters that represent each sound.
Finally, our parents learned some of the ways they can support their child at home with games, songs and simple activities that will support children’s development in blending and segmenting.
It was a fantastic morning, and we were thrilled to host such a large group of our wonderful parent community. The parents really showed great enthusiasm and commitment to supporting and being partners in their children’s education.
We hope to have more phonics workshops for parents in the near future.