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Phonics is a method of teaching children to read. Phonics works by breaking words down into it's individual sounds. There are 44 different sounds in the English language. Learning to read with phonics is therefore a bit like learning a code, after learning just a few sounds, you will be able to use this code to read 100's of words. The more sounds you know, the more words you will be able to work out how to read.


Not all words are phonetically decode-able however, a select few words you need to learn through the 'sight words' method of learning to read. Sight words is when you learn to read by memorising 1,000's of words individually. Although, it could be argued that this is not the most efficient way to learn to read. An example of this is that someone who has learnt to read through the sight words method might have memorised and be able to read the word 'boat', but may struggle if asked to read the word 'oat'. This would be an easy task for someone who had learnt to read with phonics who was able to use their decoding skills to break each word down into it's individual letter sounds.


At Walton on the Hill Primary School we base our phonics teaching on the 'Letters and Sounds' guidance is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. We add other resources and strategies to enhance this to ensure all children get the best possible start to their reading which we recognise as the building blocks to their wider education. 

Our Phonics Workshop for Parents

What is phonics? | Oxford Owl

Get a definition of phonics and understand the key aspects of learning to read using phonics. Learn more about key terms such as 'phonemes', 'blending' and 'tricky words'. Find more phonics help on Oxford Owl: What is Oxford Owl?

Phonics: How to blend sounds to read words | Oxford Owl

Suzy Ditchburn explains how letter sounds can be blended to read words, and gives tips on how to practice phonics with your child. Find more phonics help on Oxford Owl: Help your child learn to read with books and flashcards from Read with Oxford: (The flashcards used in this video are Read with Oxford: Stages 2-3: Biff Chip & Kipper: My Phonics Flashcards, and can be found here: ) What is Oxford Owl?

Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl

Learn how to pronounce all 44 phonics sounds, or phonemes, used in the English language with these helpful examples from Suzy Ditchburn and her daughter Lucy. Find more phonics help on Oxford Owl: Help your child learn to read with books and flashcards from Read with Oxford: What is Oxford Owl?