Phonics is a fantastic starting point for learning to read and write the English language. It teaches children to decode the letters and groups of letters (graphemes) that we use to denote the sounds (phonemes) of English. It also teaches the reverse - encoding - where children learn to convert the phonemes of what they want to say into the correct graphemes. As this relationship is not always straightforward in English, they learn an increasingly complex range of grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) in order to tackle most of the words they will encounter when they read and that they wish to write.
In July 2021, the Department for Education introduced new guidance for teaching reading emphasising the importance of phonics teaching. As a result, we have updated our phonics teaching and now use 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds'. This scheme, combined with our excellent teaching of systematic synthetic phonics, ensures children get the best possible start to their reading at Laddingford.
Little Wandle also have some great guidance for parents and carers to support this teaching at home.
After Year 1, our phonics teaching leads directly into our teaching of spelling where children are introduced to the full complexity of the English language, building on the firm foundation of phonics.