Phonics

What is Phonics? 
 
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.
 
 
National Literacy Trust 2021
How is Phonics taught at Berry Hill Primary School? 
 
Our teaching is currently scaffolded by the Letters and Sounds programme The sounds are introduced in the recommended order within the programme starting with Phase Two Set One in Reception. 
 
Child take part in two short daily phonics sessions, approximately 20 minutes a session. Within the first session the children take part in a short recap and review before being taught a new sound. The children then take part in activities which promote the writing of these sounds, including being taught the correct handwriting formation. Later in the day, often during ERIC, the children take part in a reading activity linked to the sound they were taught in the first session. 
Phonics Terminology
 
Phoneme-  is the smallest unit of sound. The word cat for example has three phonemes c-a-t, and the word chair has two phonemes ch-air. 
 
Grapheme- is the written form of a phoneme. 
 
Digraph- is two letters that together make one sound. There are consonant digraphs like 'sh' and 'th' and there are vowel digraphs like 'ai' and 'oi'. 
 
Trigraph- is three letters that together make one sound such as 'igh' and 'ear'. 
 
Split Digraphs- is when a digraph has been split and a consonant has been put in the middle of the  two letters. There are five of these to learn. They are 'a_e', 'e_e', 'i_e', 'o_e' and 'u_e' 
 
 
Phonics Screening Check 
 
The Phonics Screening Check was introduced in 2011. it is a national check of children's phonics knowledge which all  Year One children are required to complete.  The check normally takes place during the latter part of the Summer term. 
 
A Parent Information Workshop is usually held during the Spring Term to provide parents  with more information and practical activities to support their child.  
 
 
Useful Links
 
Phonics Play- This is a website which we often use in class. Although some of the games require a subscription, lots of great games can be accessed without.  https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk
 
BBC Bitesize- This website has lots of great videos and animations linked to the sounds taught within Phases Two and Three. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zcqqtfr
 
ICT Games- Another website that has lots of fun free phonics games and also one which we use in class. https://www.ictgames.com/mobilePage/literacy.html