Phonics

Letters and Sounds

At Kinderley Primary School we follow the 'Letters and Sounds' programme.

Children begin the Letters and Sounds programme at the start of Reception year after the baseline assessments are complete, and continue across Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2). Every child between Reception and Year 2 has a 15-30 minute phonics session every morning.

There are 26 letters in the alphabet, but they make 44 different sounds. These sounds are known as ‘phonemes’. We are often asked how each phoneme is pronounced. The link below will take you to the Oxford Owl Phonics tool which will enable you to hear the pronunciation of each sound. (hyperlink - https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/reading-owl/phonics-made-easy/#audio)

We understand that the terminology we use when teaching phonics can be quite confusing! We hope the following glossary is useful to you. Always feel free to come in and talk to us if you require any further support.

Blending: Blending is the skill of joining sounds together to read words. Children are taught to say the separate sounds in a word and to then blend them together to decode the word.

Digraph: A digraph is a sound that is represented by two letters e.g. the sound 'a' in rain is represented by the digraph 'ai'.

Grapheme: A grapheme is a visual representation of a sound e.g. a letter or a group of letters. Some sounds are represented by a single letter whilst others are represented by more than one letter.

Phoneme: A phoneme is a unit of sound e.g. the word 'cat' contains three phonemes; c - a - t.

Segmenting: Segmenting is the opposite of blending. Children are taught to segment a word into its separate sounds in order to spell it.

Split digraph: A split digraph is a digraph that is separated by other letters e.g. the sound 'a' in the word take is represented by the split digraph a-e.

There are six different phases used in this scheme which the academy follows:

Phase

Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One (Nursery/Reception)

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)

Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.