How do we teach phonics?
Phonics is a method of teaching reading by correlating sounds with symbols. At Horden Nursery School the children have lots of opportunities to develop their listening, attention and awareness of sounds and gain the knowledge that sounds are the building blocks of words– this is called phonological awareness. Phonological awareness and good oral language skills are some of the key skills in beginning to read.
In order to develop children’s phonological awareness and knowledge of letter sounds, we use a range of different strategies that support the children to; listen and offer speech, listen to and discriminate between sounds/phonemes, separate words into syllables, develop an awareness of rhythm, rhyme and alliteration, begin to explore and oral blending and segmenting.
During the nursery session, our children develop their phonological awareness through a balance of adult led focused teaching, alongside building on their awareness of letters and sounds in their self chosen play, such as listening to and identifying the sounds they can hear when playing outside in the garden. Staff also work closely with the children and build on opportunities, that naturally arise within their play, such as, children recognising letters that are special to them within the environment.
Staff closely observe the children and if they feel the child is developmentally ready, will plan opportunities which introduce them to the letter sounds and the skills they need to blend and segment words.