Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skillfully. They are taught how to:
Children can then use this knowledge to ‘decode’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.
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. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7.
Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.
Children who have been taught phonics also tend to read more accurately than those taught using other methods, such as ‘look and say’. This includes children who find learning to read difficult, for example, those who have dyslexia.
The phonics screening check is a quick and easy check of your child’s phonics knowledge. It helps your school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress.
The check takes place during June each year.
The check will contain a mix of real words and ‘non-words’ (or ‘nonsense words’). Your child will be told before the check that there will be non-words that he or she will not have seen before. Many children will be familiar with this because many schools already use ‘non-words’ when they teach phonics.
Non-words are important to include because words such as ‘vap’ or ‘jound’ are new to all children. Children cannot read the non-words by using their memory or vocabulary; they have to use their decoding skills. This is a fair way to assess their ability to decode.
We will share with you your child’s progress in phonics and how he or she has done in the screening check in the end of year school report.
All children are individuals and develop at different rates. The screening check ensures that teachers understand which children need extra help with phonic decoding.
If your child has found the check difficult, we will also tell you what support we have put in place to help them improve. We will work with you to support your child to take the next step in reading. Children who have not met the standard in year 1 will retake the check in year 2.
Phonics works best when children are given plenty of encouragement and learn to enjoy reading and books. Parents play a very important part in helping with this.
Some simple steps to help your child learn to read through phonics:
Read Write Inc for Parents - click here to find out more about how we teach phonics at Tenterfields.