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Understanding Phonics

When your child starts at Hoylake Holy Trinity in Foundation Stage One, they will begin to hear sounds in words, rhyme and sounds in their name.  They will be taught through interactive conversations with adults, singing, nursery rhymes, vocabulary linked to texts and listening to stories. This concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work when they start the ReadWriteInc phonics scheme.  During the Summer Term or earlier, children will be introduced to RWI set 1 sounds. The emphasis on RWI set 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. 


In Foundation Stage Two and Key Stage One, your child will learn to read through the ReadWriteInc phonics scheme.  In Autumn Term, your child learns a new sound every day accompanied by a handwriting rhyme which helps them to remember how to form the letter shape when writing it.  For example, if they were learning the phoneme (sound) ‘a’, they would also learn the rhyme ’round the apple and down the leaf’ when they start to write their letter.


As your child learns each sound (phoneme), they are taught how to blend the sounds together to make two and three letters words (CVC words, consonant, vowel, consonant such as dog).   Alongside this, your child will start to read green words.  These are words which can be sounded out and blended like ‘dog’, ‘cat’ and ‘red words’  (tricky words) which can’t be sounded out phonetically like ‘to’, ‘go’.


When the children have learnt the single sounds they begin to move on to two and three letter sounds. These are called digraphs (2 letters making 1 sound like ‘ea’  in tea) and trigraphs (3 letters making 1 sound like ‘igh’ in light).


Parents tutorial: