What is phonics?
Phonics is a way of decoding written letters (graphemes) and spoken sounds (phonemes) to read. At Hatton Park Primary School we follow a programme called Rocket Phonics – a government approved systematic synthetic phonics programme for the teaching of phonics.
Follow this link for an introduction to the programme:
We believe that it is vital that children are taught to read as soon as possible once they have started in Reception and we begin our direct teaching of phonics in the second full week of children attending school in September. This ensures that children learn phoneme-grapheme-correspondences quickly, which in turn supports them in becoming fluent readers. We continue to support children to develop the skills needed for blending (combining sounds to read words) and segmenting (separating words into separate sounds for writing) alongside the teaching of phoneme-grapheme-correspondences (GPCs).
How can I support my child with phonics?
Once your child has started their phonics lessons at school, it is important for children to consolidate this learning so that it becomes part of their long-term memory. We help children to consolidate their learning at school and the additional support parents/carers can provide at home is invaluable in ensuring children become confident readers. When a new GPC is taught in phonics, your child’s class teacher will share this information with you to enable you to feel confident about supporting your child with their reading at home. The teacher will give you ideas for follow-up learning activities to complete at home.
Using the correct pronunciation is vital for supporting children in their reading journey. Children are taught not to add an ‘uh’ sound at the end, so they say: ‘t’ not ‘tuh’. Correct pronunciation of sounds supports children in being able to blend sounds into words so it is important that adults model this accurately.
Follow the link to this video about the alphabetic code by the author of Rocket Phonics, Abigail Steel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyGQY_GHtoQ
Here is a list of some of the language we use when teaching children to read. The children are taught the meaning of these words and become confident to use these terms as part of their vocabulary.
Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home. 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.
This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading. Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.
The aim of reading practice books is to develop the child’s ability to automatically decode a word (without ‘sounding it out’). Children develop automaticity through
re-reading books they have already read so don’t worry if your child brings home a book they have already read.
A sharing book. Your child may bring home a book which they cannot read on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together. To encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important to make time to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together.
One of the advantages of using The Rocket Phonics Programme is that all of the decodable reading scheme books can be accessed online at https://my.risingstars-uk.com/ .
Parents and children have access to all the books at their current reading level so that they can practise their reading wherever they are! Each book has a quiz at the end to check that children have understood what they have read. Your child’s log-in information will be sent out in their reading diaries. Please approach your child’s teacher if you have any queries about online access.
The charts below show the progression for teaching and learning in Reception and Year One. Reading scheme books are closely matched to the children’s decoding ability.