How to help with Reading & Writing at Home
We hope that you will find the following information useful regarding how your child will learn to read.
Children will be taught to read using a ‘synthetic phonics approach’. We will be following the ‘Song of Sounds’ phonics scheme. This scheme teaches the letter sounds which are then blended to build words. The songs are available via our online video resource centre, here.
Learning Letter Sounds
Each phoneme (sound) that the children learn will incorporate an action and a song, which will help the children to remember the sound the letter/s make. Your child may already have shown you some of the actions to the letters we have learnt or sung some of the catchy songs to you! The letters are not introduced in alphabetical order but in a carefully selected sequence that teaches groups of letters that can be used to make simple words. Sounds will be introduced at a rate of 4 a week. Ask your child to point out the sounds they have learnt using the phoneme finder.
In Year R, we will be focussing on correct letter formantion, based on the "LetterJoin" font, in order to prepare the children for fully joined writing as they progress through the school. We use the LetterJoin handwriting scheme across the school (see letter formation sheet below). You can access a range of resources from the LetterJoin Website, here.
The School’s Username is: eg1773 Password: home
If accessing from a tablet the username is the same: eg1773 and the password is an “L” shaped finger swipe!
Blending is the process of saying the sounds in a word and then running them together to make the word, e.g. c-a-t is cat. It is a technique that your child will need to practise. To start with you should sound out the word and see if your child can hear the word. The sounds must be said quickly in order for the word to be heard. We place sound buttons under the word, point to them separately to sound out and then ‘sweep’ across more quickly to blend the sounds. It is easier if the first sound is said slightly louder e.g. m-a-t. Please see ‘How to pronounce each of the phonemes’ sheet which shows how to pronounce the sounds that we will initially learn in Owls Class.
You will already have received picture books to share with your child. Please continue to encourage your child to tell you a story using the pictures that they see as clues as to what could be happening. This is a technique that will help them as they begin to read books with words. The reading scheme that we will be using links in closely to the children’s progression in phonics. When books with words do begin to come home, please help your child to sound out and blend the words using the method explained previously.
Some words cannot be sounded out or spelt correctly by listening for the sounds in them. These words are called ‘Tricky Words’ and have to be learnt by sight. The tricky words we will be looking at initially are:
- a (can be said as the letter name -/ai/- as well as the sound)
This all probably sounds like a great deal of work, but please do not feel overwhelmed. ‘Song of Sounds’ is taught in phases and each phase builds upon prior learning. The best approach with your child will be ‘little and often’. Your child may be extremely tired after a busy day at school and may not always feel like doing more, but don’t worry, this is normal! There is no doubt that the effort on your part is well worth it.
If there is anything that you are unsure about, please contact us.