Reading and Phonics Scheme

Here at Bailey Green we teach Phonics through a Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme:  Essential Letters and Sounds.

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skillfully. They are taught how to: – recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes; – identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make such as /sh/ or /ee/; and – blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. Children can then use this knowledge to ‘decode’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read. Phonics is taught throughout Reception, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 where children will use their knowledge for reading and writing.

Throughout Nursery and Reception, children will take part in a variety of speaking and listening activities.  This type of work is crucial in promoting language development and helping children to discriminate between different sounds. As children move up throughout the school, this type of work is threaded throughout our English and Reading sessions.

In Reception, children are taught very quickly to learn to recognise, say and write individual sounds through our Reading Scheme Essential Letters and Sounds.

They are taught in the following order:

s a t p i n
m d g o c k
ck e u r/ ss
h b f ff ll
j v w x y z zz

We introduce letter sounds and names alongside each other– My name is S and I make the sound sssss. Each sound is also taught with a mnemonic which is a catchy saying to help children remember. Single letter mnemonics help our children to form letters correctly. (You can find examples of our mnemonics on our learning platform Seesaw to help your child with their reading and writing at home.)

As children develop their reading skills, children will begin to learn the following digraphs (2 letters   which make one sound) and trigraphs (3 letters which make one sound)

qu ch sh th ng nk
ai ee igh oa
ar ur oo or
ow oi ear air
ure er ow

These are also taught with mnemonics and pictures e.g ar- star from afar.

In phonics, it’s important to pronounce “pure sounds”: for example, the sound /m/ is pronounced ‘mmmm’ and not ‘muh’ or ’em’. This makes it much easier for children to blend sounds together to read.You can find examples of each sound in the videos below.

As children begin to develop their phonic strategies, children are introduced to alternative sounds for example, the sound /ee/ can also be represented in the written form ea for tea and ey in monkey.

Decodable Books

As Essential Letters and Sounds is a fully decodable programme, children will be able to use their phonics/sounds to sound out most of the words in the books which they bring home. To best support us in teaching your child how to read we ask that you read the decodable book provided by the school 4 times across the week- lots of repetition is key to their success.

Happy Reading!

Mrs Close
Phonics Lead