At Rockmount we have used a successful phonics programme for a number of years called Read, Write inc. Children are taught the letter sounds or phonemes through daily practice. They learn to respond speedily to matching the correct sound to grapheme. Very quickly, children begin to blend the sounds together to read simple words. As their phonic knowledge grows, children start to use a range of strategies to decode unfamiliar words. Alongside the teaching of phonics, children are taught to read by sight the common high frequency words. This combination has proved to be successful in the teaching of reading in the early years.
As children make progress and are reading sentences fluently, they begin to use punctuation in the text to help them read with expression and intonation. This in turn helps the reader understand the meaning more fully. By now, children are using a range of strategies to decode unfamiliar words and begin to self-correct when they stumble over a tricky word.
As children develop in their reading, the emphasis changes from learning to read to reading to learn, where the balance of word recognition and language comprehension changes. Language comprehension will be developing alongside the growing skills of word recognition.