Words are made up from small units of sound called phonemes. Phonics teaches children to be able to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children to learn to read words and to spell words. There are around 120 graphemes or ways of writing down those 44 phonemes.
The children are taught daily using the 'Phonics Bug' scheme, which progresses through the phonemes, practicing blending (to read) and segmenting (to spell) and gives the children the skills that they need to become confident readers and writers. As a part of the learning process, the children are allocated 'Bug Club' e-books and phonic independent readers to support their application of phonics in reading. If you would like to learn more about how your child uses phonics then please speak to their class teacher, who would be happy to talk to you about the learning process and how you can support at home.
Top tips for supporting reading at home:
1) Make time for reading. Try not to rush it.
2) Find a comfortable, quiet place to snuggle up with a book.
3) Look at the front cover and the blurb, making predictions about what it might be about or what might happen.
4) If it is an information text, take the time to explore the contents page before starting. Check that they understand how to use it.
5) Look in the front cover (if it is a school book) and explore the focus sounds and words.
6) Read each page, supporting with phonics if needed (the main phonemes are recorded below if you are unsure of the pronunciation). Stop at points throughout the book to talk about what has happened and to question what they have understood from it. There are good ideas for questioning at the end of the books your child takes home from school.
7) If your child is reluctant to read then take the pressure away. Perhaps you could read the book first so that they are familiar with it before they start. Perhaps take it in turns to read a page each.
8) Reread and repeat. Once your child is familiar with the phonics/ words in a book, take the opportunity to focus on their fluency and expression. You could read a page to them and then talk about how you used your voice to make it exciting. They could copy you and see if they can make it just as exciting! The more they read a text, the more fluent they will become in it.