At Blessed Sacrament School, we recognise that the first step in learning to become a fluent, confident reader and to develop a lifelong love of reading is to become proficient at decoding (sounding out words). Dedicated phonics sessions using the scheme Letters and Sounds take place each day for all pupils in Reception and Year 1. In these sessions children are taught synthetic phonics to enable them to be competent decoders by the end of Year 1. For other pupils where gaps have been identified, daily phonics interventions are carried out to enable children to quickly ‘catch up’.
Ways you can support your children at home: talking and listening
• Make time to listen to your child talking – as you meet them from their
setting or school, as you walk, or travel home by car, in the supermarket as you
shop, at meal times, bath times, bedtimes – any time!
• Switch off the TV, radio and mobile phones – and really listen!
• Show that you are interested in what they are talking about – look at your
child, smile, nod your head, ask a question or make a response to show that
you really have been listening.
• Make a collection of different toy creatures – for example, a duck, a snake,
an alien, say the sound it might make as you play together, for example,
‘quack-quack’, ‘ssssssss’, ‘yuk-yuk’, and encourage your child to copy you.
• Listen at home – switch off the TV and listen to the sounds, both inside and
outside the home. Can your child tell you what sounds they heard, in the order
in which they heard them?
• Play-a-tune – and follow me! Make or buy some simple shakers, drums and
beaters, then play a simple tune and ask your child to copy. Have fun!
• Use puppets and toys to make up stories or retell known ones. Record your
child telling the story and play it back to them.