Phonics is working

Phonics is now a very successful way of teaching young pupils to read and write the English language. The method asks children to sound out written words and see the connection between the word and its sound; graphemes and phonemes. Students use elements of phonics to decode and understand the new and unfamiliar words they are seeing. Phonics is essential for pupils learning to read as it allows them to sound out the words and put them together, eventually learning the patterns and rhythms of the words in front of them.

An inspirational Channel 4 documentary about one young boy’s battle to learn to read and a teacher's belief that a method called ‘synthetic phonics’ would improve his ability within weeks got the UK Education society thinking. This story confirmed that the initial teaching of Literacy needed to change and the Government set about a phonics screening check for all pupils at the end of Year 1.

early years pupils and teacher

Recently the fourth year of phonics screening checks were announced and it showed another year of improvement with a 77% increase of 6 year olds on track for reading effectively. The screening is completed by asking pupils to read 40 words, which allows teachers to see who can decode the words and which pupils need additional support in their reading.

Phonics does not only allow children to eventually read their bank statements, understand contracts and feel confident in their reading ability, but it can also spark a lifelong passion for literature, language, and learning. The teaching of Phonics in Primary schools across the UK allows pupils the opportunity to learn to read at a suitable rate that does not leave children who find reading difficult behind.

Let us know your thoughts on Phonics and any teaching techniques that you use.