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At The Collett School, we use the phonics programme: Letters and Sounds

In the Uk, children are taught to read using phonics, which is a system based on the sounds (phonemes) that make up words:

First Steps

  • Children start by learning the individual letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make
  • When your child knows their first letters and sounds well, they are ready to read simpler words.  This involves the key skills of sounding out and blending.  For example, c-a-t; cat.
  • When you child is ready, it's time to meet the letter friends; letters that team up to make new sounds (such as ch, ee, or).  Teachers call these digraphs, which means two letters than make one sound.

Moving on 

  • We provide a language rich environment so that children can explore a variety of word types including CVC words - which is short for 'consonant/vowel/consonant' - words such as mat, hen, fox, cup.
  • We also learn about consonant clusters.  Some words have these are the start (such as step, clap, frog and street).  Some at the end (such as end, cats, lamp and best).
  • In addition to blending, the other key skill is segmenting.  This is the opposite of blending and involves listening to a word to hear which sounds make it.  The child then decides which letters they need to make the word.  This skill forms the foundations of spelling.
  • Any irregular words that do not follow the set phonic rules are called 'tricky' words.
  • Many tricky words are quite common and very useful; the, said, no etc.   We introduce them gradually, a few at each stage of phonics.

We use rhymes, actions and games to make learning as interactive and engaging as possible.

Children really benefit from practising their phonic skills at home, in addition to their learning in class.  We use homework activities to support this.

By improving speaking and reading, we develop our vocabulary.  An increasing size of vocabulary improves our abilities in making our needs understood.