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Ham Dingle Primary School
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Our approach to teaching Phonics at Ham Dingle is through using

Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics.

It sets out a detailed programme for the teaching of Phonics, aiming to build pupil’s speaking and listening skills, as well as preparing pupils to learn to read by developing their phonic knowledge. We have a multisensory approach to the teaching of Phonics and this is an effective and interactive way for young learners to recall phonemes.


What is Phonics?

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 and spell words.


In phonics sessions children are taught three main skills:


Skill 1. Grapheme Phoneme Correspondences (GPCs)


Children are taught GPCs. This simply means that they are taught all the phonemes (sounds) in the English language and ways of writing them down (letters). These sounds are taught in a particular order. The first sounds to be taught are s, a, t.


Some phonemes are represented by just one grapheme, for example ‘s’.

Some are made up two graphemes, known as digraphs, for example ‘ch’ ‘sh’ ‘ai’.

There are other graphemes that are trigraphs (made up of three letters) such as ‘igh’, ‘air’, and others are made of splitdigraphs (where two letters are not adjacent), for example ‘o-e’ in cone, ‘i-e’ in time.

Some graphemes can represent more than one phoneme. For example, ‘ch’ makes very different sounds in these three words: chip, school, chef.


Skill 2. Blending

Children are taught to be able to blend. This is when children say the sounds that make up a word and are able to merge the sounds together until they can hear what the word is.

This skill is vital in learning to read.


Skill 3. Segmenting

Children are also taught to segment. This is the opposite of blending. Children are able to say a word and then break it up into the phonemes that make it up.

This skill is vital in being able to spell words.


How is Phonics taught?

Phonics sessions can last between 20-30 minutes per day to ensure that children are able to recap, learn, apply and consolidate their phonics teaching. They are entirely made up from games such as cross the river and bingo, and use exciting resources such as magnetic letters, sound fans or treasure coins.


How can you help your child?

To consolidate a child’s learning at home, you can practise recognising graphemes on sound mats, listen to your child blend words in their reading books or use one of the websites below to access online games. > Literacy > Phonics

For more information about our Phonics curriculum please speak to your child's class teacher.

Forest School