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Remote Phonics

What is phonics?

Phonics is a method for teaching reading and writing to children in primary schools introduced by the government in 2011. Children link sounds (phonemes) and their written form (graphemes) in order to recognise and read words, using basic units of knowledge to “decode” new or unfamiliar words.

Why is phonics the favoured teaching method?

According to the Department for Education's guidance for parents, "Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7."

How is phonics taught?

Words are made up of just 44 sounds in English. You may have heard your child or their teacher use particular words that form the core of understanding phonics. Here's a quick explanation of some of the key concepts. 

  • Phoneme - the smallest unit of sound as it is spoken.
  • Grapheme -  a written symbol that represents a sound (phoneme) that's either one letter or a sequence of letters
  • Digraph - two letters that work together to make the same sound (ch, sh, ph)
  • Trigraph - three letters that work together to make the same sound (igh, ore, ear)
  • Split digraph (sometimes called 'magic e') - two letters that work together to make the same sound, separated by another letter in the same word. This enables children to understand the difference in vowel sounds between, for example, grip/gripe, rag/rage, tap/tape.

Rather than memorising words individually, children are taught a code which helps them to work out how to read an estimated 95% of the English language.

You will be able to find phonic activities for your children on the Year 3 and 4 class pages.

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