Ocker Hill Infant School

Ocker Hill Infant School

A love of learning gives you wings

Phonics at home


From when our children start in our Nursery they are exposed to listening and speaking opportunities which will form the foundations of learning to read and write.  The more you talk with your child and encourage good listening and speaking skills the more likely they will flourish when asked to learn the sounds we use to read and write.

We are currently using 'Twinkl Phonics' to teach phonic skills to our Early Years and Key stage 1 children.  To support with reading, all of our early reading books 'Rhino Readers' use a phonics based approach.  Phonic patterns are used for spelling lists and are further developed through handwriting practise.

In key stage 1, those children who require further phonic support take part in small booster groups delivered by our trained learning support practitioner .  We use a variety of materials to plan for these groups which include 'Rapid phonics' and 'Rapid readers'.  Both schemes include reading books and activity sheets which children can take home for follow-up work.

Here are the phonic steps we use in our school:

Level Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Level One

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Level Two

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
Level Three The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Level Four

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
Level Five Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know. Encouraging spelling effectively throughout the phase.
Level Six Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.


Throughout the year, we also hold training for parents to support them adn their child/children in using phonics.  Please look out for training opportunities on our school newsletter or on the calendar section of this website page.

Please ask your child's class teacher if you would like further advice on how to support your child with phonics.


Phonics glossary

blend (vb) — to draw individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. s-n-a-p, blended together, reads snap

cluster — two (or three) letters making two (or three) sounds, e.g. the first three letters of 'straight' are a consonant cluster

digraph — two letters making one sound, e.g. sh, ch, th, ph.

vowel digraphs comprise of two vowels which, together, make one sound, e.g. ai, oo, ow

split digraph — two letters, split, making one sound, e.g. a-e as in make or i-e in site

grapheme — a letter or a group of letters representing one sound, e.g. sh, ch, igh, ough (as in 'though')

grapheme-phoneme correspondence (GPC) — the relationship between sounds and the letters which represent those sounds; also known as 'letter-sound correspondences'

mnemonic — a device for memorising and recalling something, such as a snake shaped like the letter 'S'

phoneme — the smallest single identifiable sound, e.g. the letters 'sh' represent just one sound, but 'sp' represents two (/s/ and /p/)

segment (vb) — to split up a word into its individual phonemes in order to spell it, e.g. the word 'cat' has three phonemes: /c/, /a/, /t/

VC, CVC, CCVC — the abbreviations for vowel-consonant, consonant-vowel-consonant, consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant, which are used to describe the order of letters in words, e.g. am, ham, slam.


If you would like to help your child with phonics you can visit the Twinkl website - Twinkl.co.uk 

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