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What is phonics?

Phonics is a method of learning to read. Phonics works by breaking each word up into its individual sounds before blending those sounds back together to make the word. Research has shown that phonics, can be the most effective way of teaching children to learn to read. Sounds are taught from easiest to hardest: starting with single letter sounds and then moving on to two letters making a sound and then three and so on. Learning phonics and learning to read is one of the most important stepping stones in early education as it gives your child the skills they need to move forward in every subject.


Phonics Homework

The children attend daily phonics lessons where they are grouped based on what they know and what sounds they need to learn. Children will receive one piece of phonics homework every week, set by the adult who takes them for their phonics lesson. It is an opportunity for them to practise any sounds they have been learning. You may find that your child needs a little help to complete their homework activity which is completely normal. Please return the homework by Wednesday, each week, to your child’s class teacher.

How we teach phonics at Eastbrook Primary:

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Key terms we use in teaching phonics:

Digraph – two letters make one sound (e.g. sh, ch, ai, ea, ou, ow).

Trigraph – three letters make one sound (e.g. igh, ear, air, ure).

Split digraph – two letters make one sound, but the letters have been split apart by another letter.

Phoneme – a single unit of sound

Grapheme – a written letter, or group of letter that represent a sound.

Consonants – b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z

Blend – to put or merge the sounds together to make a word (e.g. the sounds d-o-g are blended to the word ‘dog’.)

Segment – to break down the word into its individual sounds to spell (e.g cat can be split into the sounds c-a-t.).

Sound buttons – ways of visually isolating different sounds in a word. We use a dot under letters where one letter makes one sound and a line understand digraphs or trigraphs.