We welcome to our school this week, Elka Evalds, the author of Granny Magic.

Ampney CrucisChurch of England Primary School

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2 Corinthians 1:13 of the Bible


“For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end.”


What is phonics? 

Phonics is a method of teaching children to read by linking sounds (phonemes) and the symbols that represent them (graphemes).  Phonics is a programme we use to support your children as they start their reading journey.


How does it work?

Here at Ampney Crucis, we teach children their early reading skills using a synthetic phonics scheme called ‘Letters and Sounds’.  The children are introduced to the sound (phoneme) each letter (or group of letters) makes to enable them to start to listen to how we make words (blend).  We call this decoding. 


‘Letters and Sounds’ is divided into 6 phases which allows children to be introduced to all the phonemes and graphemes needed to support early reading, writing and spelling.  As soon as the children have mastered how to pronounce the first few phonemes, the children can start the all-important process of segmenting and blending allowing them to learn how to read CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words. 


We also spend time learning how to read tricky words.  These words are threaded into our daily phonics session to expose the children to how these words are both pronounced and spelt.  With a combined strategic approach, children build their word bank memory, which enables reading, writing and spelling to become fluent, purposeful and most importantly enjoyable.


How do we teach phonics?

Phonics sessions are taught daily to enable children to build a secure knowledge quickly.  Sessions last for approximately 20 minutes and follow a structure to support learning.  It is important to us that the children enjoy their phonics sessions so we endeavour to make their learning fun and interactive to enable them to get the very best from each session.  New graphemes are introduced, existing phonemes are recapped and then the opportunity to use and apply taught skills is then provided. We do this through games such as: bingo, silly soup, swat the word and full circle.


Useful websites - Has lots of information, printable resources for each of the ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonic phases, and also links to games aligned with each phase - You will find additional information about phonics along with a selection of games your child can play for free


What happens if my child has not mastered all their phonics by the end of Year 2?

Any child who still needs help to master phonics after Year 2 will be given individual and small group support so they can continue to learn and apply their phonics knowledge. Class teachers will speak to these children’s parents individually about what will be put in place.