Phonics and reading schemes used at our school

What is phonics? 

At Shirley Warren Primary and Nursery School, children learn phonics throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1. It is taught daily, in short sessions, so that children build up and practise the skills they need to use in reading and writing.

Phonics and Reading

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. Our children are taught how to recognise the sounds that individual letters make and identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as /sh/ or /oo/.  They then "blend" these sounds together from left to right to make a word. 

Children can then use this knowledge to "decode" new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read. Starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex, is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. This is why all our reading books are phonetically decodable as this supports pupils to decode new words linked to their appropriate phonics sounds.  This will help your child in the future to develop the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.

What Phonics Programme will my child be learning from?

At Shirley Warren, we follow the Letters and Sounds programme which sets out which sounds are taught in what order.  Practising the sounds correctly is really important! This is why we also use Cued Articulation to support the children with the pronunciation of each letter sound during phonics lessons. It was developed by a speech and language therapist called Jane Passey and uses hand gestures alongside sounds. Visualising phonics in this way helps the child understand where the sound is made, the shape of the lips as you say the sound, the type of articulation and if the sound is voiced or unvoiced, you will notice some actions use one finger or two fingers. One finger indicates that a sound is unvoiced and two means that it is voiced. You may also notice some actions are moving backwards, this is because the sound is made at the back of the mouth instead of the front.