The purpose of high quality phonic teaching is for children to secure the important skills of word decoding that lead to fluent and automatic reading, which frees them to concentrate on the meaning of the text.
Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching reading which first teaches the letter sounds and then builds up to blending these sounds together to achieve full pronunciation of whole words.
- Synthetic phonics teaches the phonemes (sounds) associated with the graphemes (letters). We use the Letters and Sounds Six Phase Programme which introduces the sounds associated with the letters at the rate of about one sound per day.
- The sounds are taught on their own and then blended together (this is called synthesising), all-through-the-word. For example, children might be taught a short vowel sound (e.g. /a/e//i/o/u/) in addition to some consonant sounds (e.g. /s/, /t/, /p/). Then the children are taught words with these sounds (e.g. sat, sit, pat, pit, pot, tap, at, it). They are taught to pronounce each phoneme in a word, then to blend the phonemes together to form the word (e.g. /s/ – /i/ – /t/; “sit”).
- We teach sounds in all positions of the words( for example /t/ at the beginning of the word “top”, but at the end of the word “pit” or in the middle of the word “pitch”), but the emphasis is on all-through-the-word segmenting and blending from the beginning of the programme.
- We are rigorous in our approach making sure that our phonic teaching is FUN,
FREQUENT, FAST and FAITHFUL. Research evidence has shown that the most effective way to teach phonics is by using one main programme (in our case Letters and Sounds).
Some apps we use in school for phonics: