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Altmore Infant School

Altmore Infant School


Helping your child with Phonics

At Altmore Infant School we use a bespoke method of teaching called ‘Systematic Synthetic Phonics’ to help children learn to read and write.

Phonics is one method of teaching children how to read and write. It is all about sounds and the way they are represented. There are 44 sounds taught, which we put together to form words. Some are represented by one letter, such as 't' and some by two or more, such as 'ck' in duck and 'air' in chair. Children learn the sounds and then begin to blend the sounds together to read a word. With more complex words, children begin by finding the ‘special friend’ in a word and then sounding it out. For example, in ‘sail’, the special friend is ‘ai’. It is a good idea to identify the special friends in words and underline them to help children recognise the sounds and blend them with more ease. Once children are able to blend, they can listen to the word and segment it to help them spell within their writing. For example, ‘cat’ segments into c-a-t enabling children to write the three sounds they have heard in order.

Phonics is taught 4 days a week for twenty minutes. All children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their current stage. The order of teaching the sounds has been specially developed so that children can start reading complete words as soon as possible. A phonics lesson begins with revising any sounds the children have already been taught. Then the teacher will introduce a new sound and a visual prompt. After the children have learnt the sound and the way it is formed, they blend words for reading with previously taught sounds and segment words for spelling.

There are many words that we cannot sound out. We call these tricky words. We have to look at these words, take an imaginary photograph and thereafter recognise them on sight.

Please speak to your class teacher to find out which stage your child is working at.

Below are links to useful websites to help your child with learning phonics.

How to say the sounds video

Phonics Play Website

Alphablocks Website

ICT Games Website

Letters and Sounds Website

BBC Bitesize Phonics Website