Reading Schemes

Approach to the teaching of phonics and the use of reading schemes

At Monks Coppenhall Academy, we teach phonics using the Letters and Sounds programme, supported by the use of actions, stories and songs. As children move through the early stages of acquiring phonics, they practice by reading texts which develop their abilities to decode and read for meaning. Each day, phonics are taught to develop a secure knowledge of letter/sound correspondences and confidence in word blending. Our book banding reading programmes are designed to give children experience of a variety of reading genres which include fiction and non-­fiction resources. The skills of reading are taught from the time children enter school and include comprehension, inference and deduction. Our ultimate aim is to encourage children to develop a love of literature and enjoy reading for purpose and pleasure. 

Explanation to support with phonics

What is a phoneme?

A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in speech.  When we teach reading we teach children which letters represent those sounds.  For example – the word ‘hat’ has 3 phonemes – ‘h’ ‘a’ and ‘t’.

What is a grapheme?

A grapheme is a letter or a number of letters that represent the sounds in our speech. So a grapheme will be the letter/ letters that represent a phoneme (see above). English has a complex written code and in our code a grapheme can be 1, 2,3 or 4 letters.  

For example:

1 letter grapheme – m  a  t     (m)

2 letter grapheme – sh  i  p    (sh)

3 letter grapheme – n  igh  t     (igh)

4 letter grapheme – eigh  t     (eigh)

What are consonant and vowel digraphs?

Consonant digraphs are 2 letters that are consonants that spell 1 sound e.g.: ‘s’ and ‘h’ together spell ‘sh’. As this is 1 sound, it  cannot be called  2 adjacent consonants. Vowel digraphs or trigraphs are vowel sounds spelled by more than 1 letter e.g: ‘oo’ or ‘ai’ or ‘igh’

What is ‘blending’?

Blending is the process of pushing sounds together in a word. Children are taught to sound out words and then push the sounds together into a recognisable word.

What is segmenting?

Segmenting is the process of separating sounds in words. Children a taught to listen and isolate sounds in words.  Then they are taught to represent those sounds in letters.  This is the process of spelling.

What are high-frequency words?

High frequency words are common words the beginner reader will come across very early in his/her reading experience as they appear in even the simplest of  texts.  The list of the first 100 high-frequency words includes words which are decodable e.g. ‘dad’ and words which are not initially decodable such as ‘the’ and ‘where’.

Please click on the link below to view documents in PDF format.

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