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What is Phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. We believe that all children should begin to acquire the knowledge of synthetic phonics as soon as it is appropriate for their stage of development.

Letter sounds (phonemes) are taught in relation to particular letters (graphemes). These sounds are blended to create words. At Colney Heath, we follow a Systematic Synthetic approach that teaches children to:

  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
  • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make such as /sh/ or /ee/
  •  blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘decode’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read. Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. Throughout their time in Colney Heath, we will support your children to go on to read texts fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.

Phonics at Colney Heath Primary School

As a school, we show fidelity to one systematic synthetics phonics programme; Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. Daily delivery, along with identified individual support, ensures each child progresses through the programme and succeeds in learning to read and thus being able to read to learn. We aim to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. We follow a detailed phonics programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting in Nursery.

Programme Overview Reception and Year 1