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Phonics at Marsh Lane Primary School
At Marsh Lane Primary School, synthetic phonics is taught as the main approach to early reading. Regular phonics sessions are taught from EYFS through to Year 2. These sessions follow the government published programme ‘Letters and Sounds’.
A session is a daily 20-minute structured lesson, where the children have the opportunity to practice reading and writing.
‘Letters and Sounds’ is split into 6 phases. These are expected to be taught during the following years:
Phase 1 – Nursery
Phase 2, 3, 4 – Reception
Phase 4, 5 – Year 1
Phase 5, 6 – Year 2
At each phase children are taught to recognise individual sounds, pairs and clusters of letters. In phonic sessions children are taught to recognise letters, understand the sound they make and then blend them together to create words. Some words, which cannot be phonetically sounded out, are taught at each phase. These are ‘tricky words’ and are taught through sight recognition.
For more information on ‘Letters and Sounds’ and the phonics phases please click on the links below:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J2Ddf_0Om8 - help with pronunciation
In 2012 a statutory check was introduced in Year 1. The check assesses phonics knowledge learnt in Reception (phase 3) and in Year 1 (phase 4,5). It was developed to help identify the children who need extra help with decoding and blending before they begin Year 2. For information on the Phonics Screening Check please see the powerpoint.
Phonics at Home
There are many great websites and apps to help support phonics learning at home. Here are some of our favourites used in school:
www.phonicsplay.co.uk – Buried Treasure, Dragons Den, Obb and Bob
Phoneme - The smallest unit of sound. There are approximately 44 phonemes in English (it depends on different accents). Phonemes can be put together to make words.
Grapheme - A way of writing down a phoneme. Graphemes can be made up from 1 letter e.g. p, 2 letters e.g. sh, 3 letters e.g. tch or 4 letters e.g ough.
GPC - This is short for Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence. Knowing a GPC means being able to match a phoneme to a grapheme and vice versa.
Digraph - A grapheme containing two letters that makes just one sound (phoneme).
Trigraph - A grapheme containing three letters that makes just one sound (phoneme).
Blending- This involves looking at a written word, looking at each grapheme and using knowledge of GPCs to work out which phoneme each grapheme represents and then merging these phonemes together to make a word.
Segmenting - This involves hearing a word, splitting it up into the phonemes (sound talk/sounding out) that make it, using knowledge of GPCs to work out which graphemes represent those phonemes and then writing those graphemes down in the right order.