Phonics and Early Reading and Writing
At Margaret Wix we teach Phonics (the way letters make sounds) through the systematic synthetic programme ‘Little Wandle’, which we have carefully adapted to suit the needs of our children in order to get them off to the best possible start with their reading. Reading opens the door to learning and we want to instill a love of reading. Using the 'Little Wandle' programme the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell with ease so that they can independently compose what they write.
The children will have daily Phonics sessions in school where they will be taught 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts. They will use these to help them learn to read and write words.
Children are taught to understand and use the technical vocabulary such as:
Digraph – two letters, one sound. Eg: ay as in play, oo as in zoom, ee as in sleep.
Trigraph – three letters, one sound. Eg: igh as in flight, air as in chair, are as in care.
Split vowel digraph – two letters that are both vowel but are split up by another sound. Eg: i_e as in like, a_e as in make, o_e as in home, u_e as in huge.
Vowel – a, e, i, o, u
Plural – adding an s onto the end of a word to imply more than one.
Root word – the main part of a word that can be altered by adding an ending or a beginning. Eg: playing, swimming, played.
Suffix – an ending to a root word. Eg: played, playing.
Prefix – a beginning to a root word. Eg: impossible, overcooked, unable.
How to help your child with their phonics and early reading and writing at home
Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.
Why not go on a letter hunt around the house or see what letters they can find on their way to school. Can they tell you what the letter name is and what sound it makes?
There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home, one being a sharing book they will get from the library which they will not be able to read on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together to instill that love of reading.
The other book is their reading practise book. This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. At first it will just have pictures in it to get used to handling the book and tell you the story using the pictures. As they learn new sounds they will receive a book with words matched to their phonics stage. You can help your child learn to read words by sounding out and blending eg. c-a-t = cat, sh-o-p = shop. Help your child by saying the pure sounds (‘m’ not ‘muh‘, ‘s’ not ‘suh‘ etc.) as quickly as they can, and then blend the sounds together to say the whole word.
If your child is reading their book with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading. They can read this book more than once.
Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.
Follow the links below for handy videos and resources you can use too!
Websites for Phonics games: