SUPPORTING Reading & Phonics AT HOME
Phonics at home
If your child is learning to read with phonics, they are being taught by well-trained staff in a specific and systematic way, using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds. This starts with Foundations for Phonics, where we focus on listening, attention and tuning into sounds. At this stage, the letters are not introduced and children are using songs, rhymes and games to help them identify and hear phonemes in words.
When children are ready, they will move onto Phase 2 (and later Phases 3, 4, and 5), when they be taught to start associating specific sounds (phonemes) with the corresponding letters. It is important that letter sounds are taught consistently. Below is a guide to the correct way to say each of the letter sounds. Listen carefully and when you say them, make sure you don't add an ‘uh’ sound at the end, so say: ‘t’ not ‘tuh’.
We make sure children only say the sound once when they see the letter (or if they are not making the sounds themselves, that you only say the sound once). This really helps when children work on blending the sounds together to read words. If they are used to saying 'p p p ', 'a a a', 't t t', it is much harder to blend these together to make 'p a t - pat'.
Ignore the bit about when sounds are taught, but children are taught sounds in this sequence. Your child's teacher will be able to tell you sounds that they are working on.
There is no need or expectation for parents to work on phonics with children at home, as they will be doing daily phonics sessions in school if this is appropriate. However, if you do want to practice these with your child, it is important that you use the correct sound for each letter. These can be found in the short videos below.
Phase 2 sounds - Set 1
Phase 2 sounds - set 2
Phase 3 sounds
How we teach blending
As soon as your child knows six or so phonemes (letter sounds) they will start blending them together to read words. This is why the order we teach the sounds is so important - because we can make lots of words with just a few letters. The video below shows how we teach children to blend sounds together to read words. Again, this is something that they will be working on regularly in school if appropriate, so the video below is for information.
Reading Practice books
There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home:
A reading practice book This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently.
A sharing book Your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together.
There is more information about how to support your child's reading at home in the video below.