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ELS Phonics at Smitham

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Phonics is an integral part of teaching children the fundamental skills, knowledge and concepts underpinning early reading and writing. For this reason, we place significant emphasis and value on Phonics within our curriculum at Smitham.

We follow the phonics scheme, Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS).  The programme provides a simple, consistent approach to phonics, provided through interactive whiteboard lessons.  ELS keeps routines simple to reduce cognitive load and maximise the chances of success.  More information about ELS can be found at ELS - Essential Letters & Sounds (www.essentiallettersandsounds.org).

 

Children in Nursery work to develop their listening and attention and speaking and listening skills as well as fostering a love of stories and reading.  Within the spring term, the children then begin to learn two sounds a week and explore the initial sound of their name.  This then supports them as they move into Reception and on to formal phonics teaching.

Every child in Reception and Year 1 take part in a daily phonics session following the ELS programme.  Some children may access additional phonic interventions throughout the day if this needed.  Children within Year 2 and Year 3 may also be receiving phonic teaching.

 

It is really important that we are saying the sounds correctly when we are supporting children with their reading.  If you are unsure of how to pronounce phonic sounds correctly, the video link below offers support with this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCI2mu7URBc 

 

To support children's learning at home, each child receives reading materials which are carefully matched to their phonic ability and the learning that has been taken place during their phonics sessions.  These materials are then changed twice a week. Please see our reading progression chart below:

phonics

At the end of Year 1, the children will take the phonics screening check. This is a government requirement and is a way for teachers to ensure that children are making sufficient progress with their phonics skills, to read words and are on track to become fluent readers who can enjoy reading for pleasure and for learning.​ The results of this are then shared with parents at the end of the school year. 

 

Phonics At Home

Below are some ideas for phonics games and activities at home. 

Sound Jump Game

Have a pile of sound cards for your child to see. These can be written on A4 paper or are simply, magnetic letters from a box. Your child then jumps up with the sound, once it’s called out by an adult.

sound jump

Hangman

Draw a picture of something that can be sounded out easily i.e. hat/jog/chips. Count how many phonemes (sounds) and draw the lines to represent them. Ensure longer lines represent digraphs (two-lettered sounds i.e. ch/th/ng) and trigraphs (3 lettered sounds). Children to guess letters and have their own go using whiteboards i.e. __ ___ _______ r i ng 

Click on the document below for more ideas of games and some great websites to visit to help your child with their phonics. 

Click on the document below to find out about the key phonics terms:

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