How we teach phonics
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and write by blending and segmenting individual sounds. Every letter and different combinations of letters make particular sounds for example the letter ‘s’ makes a hissing like a snake. At Daisyfield we follow the Letters and Sounds Programme of teaching, which is split into 6 phases that systematically build on skills and knowledge of previous learning. Alongside Letters and Sounds we use our Daisyfield Actions for learning sounds (see the link at the bottom of this page) and use patters from Letter Join Program to help develop letter formation (see the PDF documents at the bottom of the page for how we form our letters in EYFS (no lead ins) and KS1 (lead ins and out).
Children throughout Reception and Key stage 1 take part in daily phonics sessions. These sessions focus on key reading skills such as decoding to read words and segmenting the sounds in a given word to spell. During Phonics lessons we also teach children to read and write ‘tricky words’ also known as ‘sight words.’ These are words that you cannot sound out and children are just expected to remember how to read and write.
Key terms we use in our teaching:
Digraph – two letters make one sound (e.g. sh, ch, ai, ea, ou, ow).
Trigraph – three letters make one sound (e.g. igh, ear, air, ure).
Split digraph – two letters make one sound but the letters have been split apart by another letter. (e.g. the a - e sound in cape)
Phoneme – a single unit of sound
Grapheme – a written letter, or group of letter that represent a sound.
Consonants – b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z
Blend – to put or merge the sounds together to make a word (e.g. the sounds d-o-g are blended to the word ‘dog’.)
Segment – to break down the word into its individual sounds to spell (e.g cat can be split into the sounds c-a-t.).
Sound buttons – ways of visually isolating different sounds in a word. We use a dot under letters where one letter makes one sound and a line understand digraphs or trigraphs.
How you can help at home
Every week each child will be sent home a phonics decodable book at their reading level. Read these with your child and ask them questions about the story.
If children know these they are more likely to gain speed and fluency in their reading.
It is important children are forming their letters the correct way round. Ask your teacher for the A - Z of letter formation sheet, so you know how the letters are formed at Daisyfield and in your child's year group.
Every child in school can access Oxford Owl, which gives you access to interactive phonetical books and games. Ask your teacher if you need these details again.
Practising the sounds correctly is really important!
Here are videos which show you how to say all the sounds we work on with the children.