At Henry Green we teach children phonics every day through the Read, Write, Inc. scheme by Ruth Miskin from age 3-7. When children first start in Nursery, we teach 'early reading' and 'pre-phonics' skills outlined in the RWI Nursery handbook to prepare children to be ready to learn formal phonics. You can find out more about these along with recommended activities games and websites in the 'Phonics at home' links at the bottom of this page!
Phonics in Nursery:
Before teaching any sounds or letters, our children need to be able to listen to and identify the sounds around them, express themselves through talk, explore books and sing songs including nursery rhymes. The early reading and pre phonics skills that we cover include:
- Story and poetry time (reading stories and poems together)
-Environmental sounds (Everyday noises eg. car brrrm or bird tweet)
- Body percussion sounds (Making sounds with our bodies eg. clapping)
- Rhyme (Exploring words that have the same end sound eg. cat/hat/mat)
- Alliteration (Words that start with the same sound eg. big bug boy bed)
- Voice sounds (Creating sounds using our mouth, lips and tongue)
- Oral blending & segmenting (Hearing the sounds in a word eg. c-a-t)
We begin to introduce the RWI phonics sounds during whole
class sessions in the summer term, learning one new sound a
week while continuing to embed the 'early reading skills'.
The children learn the sound that each letter makes and a corresponding picture with a short description of how
to write that letter. All letters taught in Nursery are
lowercase, for example - a b c d e not A B C D E
Please use lowercase letters in any activities you do at home.
Phonics in Reception:
Children in Reception will begin to formally learn RWI phonics in the autumn term shortly after they start school. This is an opportunity to revise the sounds that we introduced in Nursery and extend their understanding of how they can be used in reading and writing.
For each sound we teach children to be able to:
-Say the sound
-Read the sound
-Write the sound
The sounds are taught in sets, once children are familiar with most of the set 1 sounds, they will start 'word time' using those sounds. This is how children will start to be able to read and spell simple words.
Fred, the frog can only talk using sounds, so he encourages the children to listen closely to the sounds he says and blend them into a word.
For example, Set 1 sounds - m a s d t
Children will learn to blend, read and write the words:
m-a-t mat, s-a-t sat, d-a-d dad, s-a-d sad, m-a-d mad.
Some sounds are made up from 2 or 3 letters. When a word contains these letters next to each other then only one sound is made, eg. sh-o-p shop. ch-a-t chat. h-igh high. When children are confident with the first set of sounds, they will move on to set 2 which contains more complex sounds and words, some children may continue to revise the set 1 sounds for longer to deepen their understanding.
Letter formation guide - Simple speed sounds chart-
Children will also be taught how to read 'High frequency' or 'Tricky' words in their daily phonics lesson. These are words that need to be remembered by sight as they cannot be read phonetically, eg. the, was, she, he, go. High frequency word cards are provided in your child's reading folder along with their reading book to practice at home.