Letters and Sounds A Guide for Parents

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1 Letters and Sounds A Guide for Parents Being able to read is the most important skill children will learn during their early schooling and has far-reaching implications for lifelong confidence and well-being. High quality phonic work should be the prime means for teaching children how to read and spell words. At Grove we follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme and this guide is designed to help you, as parents, understand Letters and Sounds so that you can support your child at home. Letters and Sounds is a high quality phonics programme but it is also fun so. Enjoy!

2 Skills of segmentation and blending Phonics at a Glance Phonics is. Knowledge of the alphabetical code Phonics Consists of: Identifying sounds in spoken words Recognising the common spellings of each phoneme (sound) Blending phonemes into words for reading Segmenting words into phonemes for spelling HELP!!!! (some terminology explained): Phoneme: a sound in a word Grapheme: a letter or sequence of letters that represent a phoneme c a t b ir d f i sh kn igh t These words each have three phonemes (separate sounds). Each of these phonemes is represented by a grapheme. A grapheme may consist of one, two, three or four letters. We refer to these as sound buttons e.g. kn igh t Segmenting: means breaking words down into their phonemes to spell e.g. c/a/t Blending: is the reverse of segmenting. When you blend you build words from their phonemes to read.

3 Letters and Sounds Progression (the Phases explained) In the last few pages of this guide you will find each Phase (2-6) broken down to show you what the children cover in each Phase. At Grove the children always work within the Phase that is appropriate to their level of learning. They are assessed regularly and groupings are sorted accordingly. Therefore the suggested model of year group and corresponding Phase does not always go hand in hand with the year group that your child is actually in. It is important that each child is secure within a Phase before moving onto the next Phase. Before looking at the exact coverage within each Phase here is a brief summary of each Phase: Phase 1 (pre-school) Showing an awareness of rhyme and alliteration Distinguishing between sounds in the environment and phonemes Exploring and experimenting with sounds and words Discriminating speech in words Beginning to orally blend and segment phonemes Phase 2 (Reception) Using common consonants and vowels Blending for reading and segmenting for spelling simple c-v-c words Understanding that words are constructed from phonemes and that phonemes are represented by graphemes Phase 3 (Reception) Knowing one grapheme for each of the 44 phonemes There are 44 phonemes in the English language! Reading and spelling a wide range of c-v-c words Using all letters and less frequent consonant digraphs and some long vowel phonemes

4 Phase 4 (Reception/Year 1) This is a consolidation unit. There are no new graphemes to learn. Reading and spelling of tricky words continues. Segmenting adjacent consonants in words and applying this to spelling Blending adjacent consonants in words and applying this skill when reading unfamiliar texts Phase 5 (Year 1) Reading phonetically decidable two-syllable and three-syllable words Using alternative ways of pronouncing and spelling the graphemes corresponding to the long vowel phonemes Spelling complex words using phonetically plausible attempts Phase 6 (Year 2) Recognising phonic irregularities and becoming more secure with less common grapheme-phoneme correspondences Applying phonic skills and knowledge to recognise and spell an increasing number of complex words Introducing and teaching the past tense Investigating and learning how to add suffixes Teaching spelling of long words Finding and learning the difficult bits in words In addition to this! Each week the children learn tricky spelling words (those that are not spelt phonetically) and key sight vocabulary The key sight word list contains 300 words (100 in Reception and Year 1 and an additional 200 in Year 2)

5 Grapheme Key Vocabulary: Digraph: 2 letters making one sound (ai, ee, oo) Trigraph: 3 letters making one sound (igh, dge) Split digraph: Where the two letters are not adjacent (a-e, e-e) Something to Think About! The English language is tricky and just when children have mastered the graphemes to make the phonemes (e.g. p-l-ay) they then realise that there can be many choices as to which grapheme to use. Here is an example: a paper ay play ey they a-e spade eigh eight ei vein ai plain So the more support and opportunities they have to practice their Letters and Sounds the better! To finish: Letters and Sounds is not just a Key Stage 1 programme and it will be carried into Key Stage 2 until your child is secure within Phase 6. They will then continue with spelling using the Support for Spelling programme. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for supporting your child.

6 Letters and Sounds: Progression Phases Two to Five of Letters and Sounds are designed to be a robust programme of high quality phonics work to be taught systematically. It is recommended that this is done for a discrete period of time around 20 minutes- on a daily basis as the prime approach for teaching children how to read and spell words. Phase Two Week Letters Word Building Examples High Frequency Words 1 s-a-t-p- sat tap pat a as at 2 -i- sit pit tip pip sip is it n-/-n pan pin tin tan nap in an m-/-m man mat map am d-/-d sad dip dad did and 3 g-/-g pig dig gas gap -o- pot top dog pop got on not c- cot cap cat cod can k- kid kit 4 -ck pack sack kick pick sick -e- pet ten net pen peg men neck get -u- run mug cup sun mud mum up put (north) r- Rat rag ram rug tot rip rim Tricky to the (reading) 5 h- hot hut hop hit hat hum hug had his him has b- bad bag bed bug bus bat big back but f-/-ff fan fit fat fun fog puff huff of if off l-/-ll lap leg lit bell fill doll sell tell let -ss Tricky 6 REVISE less hiss mess boss fuss kiss no go I into (reading)

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