Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn at Chevening. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read. We start by teaching phonics in Reception.
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and write. It is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds and understand the link between the sound (phoneme) and the way it is written (grapheme). At Chevening, we follow the Letters and Sounds programme. This is a synthetic phonics programme in which individual letters or letter sounds are ‘blended’ to form groups of letters or sounds, and those groups are then blended to form complete words The children also practice reading (and spelling) ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. Each sound has a little rhyme to help the children with their letter formation.
Once children can blend sounds together to read words, they practice reading books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start to believe they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
The ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning.
Phases 1-4 are taught in Class R
Phase 5 is taught in Year 1
Phase 6 is taught in Year 2
The correct pronunciation of each sound is really important. Here is a video modelling the pronunciation of each of the sounds found in phase 2.
Phase One: Supports the importance of speaking and listening and develops children’s discrimination of sounds, including letter sounds.
Phase Two: The children learn to pronounce the sounds themselves in response to letters, before blending them. This leads to them being able to read simple words and captions.
Letters: s, a, t, p, i, n, m, d, g, o, c, k, ck, e, u, r, h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss
Tricky Words: the, to, I, no, go
Phase Three: Completes the teaching of the alphabet and moves on to sounds represented by more than one letter.
The children will learn letter names and how to read and spell some tricky words.
Letters: j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu, ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er
Tricky Words: he, she, we, me, be, was, my, you, they, her, all, are
Phase Four: The children learn to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants.
Tricky Words: said, so, have, like, some, come, were, there, little, one, do, when, out, what
Set 1: s a t p
Set 2: i n m d
Set 3: g o c k