"The more things you read, the more that you'll know
the more that you learn, the more places you'll go"
Phonics at St Giles
At St Giles Primary, we recognise reading as a key life skill, which underpins access to the rest of the curriculum. We teach children early reading skills using a systematic synthetic phonics scheme (SSP). Evidence shows that when delivered in a structured way phonics is one of the most effective ways to teach young children to read.
What is Phonics?
“Phonics is making connections between the sounds of our spoken words and the letters that are used to write them down.” – Little Wandle Letters and Sounds 2022.
At St Giles Primary, children begin their phonics journey as soon as they start school and are taught to
- Recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes
- Identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make eg sh, th, oo
- Blend sounds to make a word.
Children continue learning phonics throughout KS1 and until they can read fluently. Our aim is to ensure that all children become successful, fluent readers by the time they leave our school and develop a lifelong love of reading.
From mid-January 2022, we have been teaching phonics using the 'Little Wandle' scheme. We explained this to parents on 3.2.22:
Here is the link to the parents' section of the Little website:
Reading at home - parents' role:
- We teach the children to decode, and then have 3 Reading Practice sessions in groups every week, where children read the same 'matched-decodable' book as a group each session, and discuss it with an adult (more on this below*).
- We then send this book home. Your child should be at least 90% fluent with this book. Let them read it to you and build up to 100% fluency. Praise them, encourage them, it's them 'showing off' to you how well they can read, so the book should appear to be 'easy' to read for them. Read it to mum, dad, sister, nan, and whoever else they can!
- We will also send home a book for sharing. This is a book they have chosen that interests them - they might not be able to read all the words, so help them, read it to them, talk about it, explain what any unfamiliar words mean, and build up a love of reading with them.
- These two very separate approaches will hugely help them - decoding on their own with the Big Cat decodable book, and Reading for Pleasure with the book for sharing - 5 minutes a day, little and often, or more if you have time - thank you!
*Reading Practice Sessions with a trained adult in school, and Keep-Up/1:1 sessions:
- There are 3 sessions per week. The first focuses on reading the book with fluency.
- Session 2 focuses on 'prosody' - expression and intonation.
- Session 3 checks understanding through comprehension questions.
- In addition, staff target children who have not quite grasped the daily phonics lesson with same-day 'keep-up' sessions, as well as deploying trained staff to read 1:1 with children who are at risk of falling behind.
Phonics has lots of terminology which we teach the children - the main ones are explained in this Terminology Document (e.g. grapheme, phoneme, digraph)
Capital letter sheet - Download a guide to how we teach our children to form their capital letters
Programme overview - download our full Reception and Year 1 teaching programme to find out what your child will learn and when.
Here are some YouTube video links for how the sounds should actually sound:
And here are some video links that explain how we teach blending, 'tricky words' and what 'alien words' are used for:
Here are some fun 5 minute games that you can play with your child to support their oral blending and phonics.
Use the links below to support your child to recognise the graphemes we have learnt at school: