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Cila Primary School

Ysgol Gynradd Cila

Phonics helping reading and writing



What are phonics and how do we teach them?

Phonics involves matching sounds with individual letters or groups of letters. We teach phonics in phases please see picture below: 

Why is phonics important?

Phonics are important as they help the children to develop essential skills for reading and writing such as how to blend and segment sounds. 


What is blending and segmenting? 

Segmenting: When the children say a word and then tell you what sounds they can hear, for example, in the word "cat" the children can hear the sound  c-a-t. This skill will help the children with their spelling

Blending: You say the sounds within the words and they merge those sounds together to make the whole word for example the sounds f-i-sh makes the word fish. This skill helps to develop children's reading. 


Please see some fun blending and segmenting activities below: 


Tricky words and high-frequency words

Tricky words are words that we cannot sound out phonetically and need to be taught separately. High frequency words words that occur most frequently. Please see pictures below: 


Tips for reading at home 

How to help your child when reading at home:

  • Find a quiet place away from other interruptions.
  • Spend a few minutes discussing the blurb (back of the book) and front cover before you even open the book – What do you think this book is about?
  • Help and support your child if they get stuck on any words. Encourage them to work it out by .... sounding out the sounds, using any picture clues, using the context of the sentence to work out, what would sensibly fit, re-reading to check for meaning.
  • Ask your child questions to check their understanding of the text for example: What was your favourite part of the story? How did you feel about the main character? Which words show you that the character is happy? What might happen next? 
  • Do not make your child read there and then if they are really not in the mood. It will not be a very productive session for either you or your child. Suggest that you do it in ten minutes after tea etc instead.
  • Give your children lots of praise and encouragement. 



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