Early Learning

Helpful Hints for Early Reading

Reading starts with early contact with pictures and print and with reading - being read to, seeing adults read for pleasure and for purpose. Then exploring picture books, both with and without print and moves on to reading from picture books. Next, they identify symbols, signs, labels and logos. The child then becomes aware that print carries meaning but may refuse to read at this stage saying “I don’t know what the marks say”. They then begin to read their own “writing” and start to identify letter names and sounds. They will then recognise their own name and a few other simple words and understand print conventions e.g left to right, top to bottom etc. Finally they will begin to read independently – words, phrases, sentences and then books – this will include segmenting and blending, reading known words and understanding what is read.

To achieve this, your child will progress through the following stages:

  1. Your child hears individual sounds within a word; your child will call this a phoneme.
  2. They recognise and identify the written form of these sounds, known as a grapheme.
  3. They recognise and say initial sound of a given word.
  4. They recognise and say all the sounds in a given word.
  5. They blend all the sounds of a given word together.
  6. They identify more complex graphemes and say their corresponding phoneme.

Alongside this we should always be encouraging the children to use correct letter formation, correct pencil grip, a comfortable and correct positioning of their arm and paper. Letters should always start at the top.

Remember once a bad habit has formed it is very hard to break!

At school we will teach your child these skills using a Synthetic Phonic Scheme called Letters and Sounds. All children in Foundation and Key Stage 1 have a daily phonics input. They work in groups through 5 phases with the emphasis being on activity and games. Children in Foundation bring home a Sounds book daily for you to practise sounds and actions with them, we then progress to picture books to tell a story and finally to books with words and sentences.

Here are some activities and tips you might like to try at home to support your child’s learning and progress.

Share books with your child. Ask them questions about the pictures and the story, what do they think will happen next? Why? How do they know?

  1.       Play games with rhyming words, or alliteration. Say rhymes and poems together to explore and appreciate rhythm.
  2.       Develop oral blending and segmenting.  Use robot words e.g. c-a-t, ch-o-p, sh – ou – t, ch – ur - ch etc, the child says cat, chop, shout etc.
          Start with the 3 letter words first, until your child is confident!
  3.       Match sounds to written letters e.g. find c, s, p etc from an alphabet card.
  4.       Say the sound, and demonstrate forming the letter correctly.
  5.       Write a 3-letter word, the child says each phoneme separately and blends them together.
  6.       Draw the sound buttons under the graphemes.

Encourage your child to touch their fingers as they say each phoneme in a given word.

We hope this has been helpful. If you would like more advice please contact the school.


Words your child might hear at school

  • Phoneme – the sound you can hear in a word.
  • Grapheme  - the written letters that make a phoneme.
  • Segmentation – breaking the word into parts to sound out.
  • Blending – saying all sounds together to form a word.
  • Digraph -  2 letters that make one sound, e.g. ch, sh.
  • Trigraph -  3 letters that make one sound, e.g. ure, ear.
  • Tricky words – words that cannot be sounded out e.g. the, was.
  • Emergent reading – the stages of reading to reach conventional reading.

Helpful Hints for Early Writing

Writing starts with drawing, then scribbling and moves on to letter like shapes and forms. Next, they ‘invent’ spellings – lots of letter shapes, often related to their name, in a string - but meaning something important to the child. Finally we come to conventional spelling.

To achieve this, your child will progress through the following stages: -

  1. Your child hears individual sounds within a word; your child will call this a phoneme.
  2. They recognise and identify the written form of these sounds, known as a grapheme.
  3. They hear and form the initial sound of a given word.
  4. They hear and form the initial and final sound of a given word.
  5. They hearing and form the initial, final and middle sound of a word
  6. They hear and identify more complex phonemes and form their corresponding graphemes.

Alongside this we should always be encouraging the children to use correct letter formation, correct pencil grip, a comfortable and correct positioning of their arm and paper. Letters should always start at the top.

Spaces between words should begin to appear around Stage 4.

Remember once a bad habit has formed it is very hard to break!

Here are some activities and tips you might like to try at home to support your child’s learning and progress.

  1. Use robot words e.g. c-a-t, ch-o-p, sh – ou – t, ch – ur - ch etc, the child says cat, chop, shout etc. Start with the 3 letter words first, until your child is confident!
  2. Match sounds to letters e.g. find a c, s, p etc from an alphabet card.
  3. Say the sound, and the child forms the letter.
  4. Say a 3-letter word, the child forms the letter it starts with. E.g. peg - p
  5. Child draws a picture, forms a word or a sentence about it. At this stage the initial sound only is what we are looking for.
  6. Remind your child – what can you hear?  Which sound/phoneme does it start with?
  7. Dictate or ask your child to write a sentence, this time concentrating on initial and final sounds   E.g. Hr is mi ct
  8. Repeat above, concentrating on the middle sound.   E.g. Her is my cat.
  9. Finally    Here is my cat.

We hope this has been helpful. If you would like more advice please contact the school.

Words your child might hear at school

  • Phoneme – the sound you can hear in a word.
  • Grapheme  - the written letters that make a phoneme.
  • Segmentation – breaking the word into parts to sound out.
  • Blending – saying all sounds together to form a word.
  • Emergent writing – the stages of writing to reach conventional spelling and writing.

Observations

To continue our “Working in Partnership” with parents we would like your help to support our assessments of your child’s development and progress.

Our assessment is mostly child initiated – we make a note of any observations we hear or see that has not been prompted by an adult. If you note a development or any new progress at home we invite you to complete a  “WOW Moment” note giving details. e.g – rides a two wheeler bike for the first time, gets dressed independently, or takes part in a new activity confidently etc.

More labels are available on the noticeboard outside Wrens classroom or please print from this website.

 

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