Phonics is the name given to the process of learning the sounds, names and shapes of the letters that make up the English language. There are 44 different sounds, made up of singular or groups of letters. Some of these sounds then have a variety of ways of writing them down.
Trumpington Park Primary School follows the Letters and Sounds progression, using a variety of ways of delivering it. Primarily, we use Storytime Phonics as a base to help children learn which is based on the use of real books to bring phonics to life and enable children to apply their new knowledge and skills. We use a variety of approaches to reach all children, with the most successful being a multi-sensory way of learning. Children learn by doing and manipulating so it is common to see them hunting for hidden words around the school or digging for hidden letters in the sandpit, making them into words. We use real books, as well as simple scheme books, to enthuse the children and show that there is a real point to learning phonics – to read amazing books!
There is some key vocabulary that both children and adults use:
Phoneme – the smallest unit of sound a letter, or group of letters makes. Grapheme – the written shape of a phoneme Digraphs and Trigraphs – two or three letters making one sound Blend – two or more sounds said closely together e.g. spl, fl, xt, ump
We teach the cursive style of letter formation but it is important that children are exposed to all sorts of letter styles and fonts.