What is Phonics?

Learning

What is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read. They are taught how to:

  • Recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes
  • Identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make e.g. sh and oo
  • Blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

 Children can then use this knowledge to segment and blend new words that they hear or see.

Why phonics?

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.

All children are individuals and develop at different rates. A phonics screening check at the end of Year One ensures that teachers understand which children need extra help with phonic decoding.

In phonic lessons, we teach the "pure sound" of a phoneme, rather than letter names. For example, the sound /s/ is pronounced 'ssssss' and not 'suh' or 'es'.
Learning to read pure sounds makes it much easier for children to blend sounds together as they progress with their reading.