What is phonics?
Phonics is a method for teaching reading and writing to children in primary schools. Children link sounds (phonemes) and their written form (graphemes) in order to recognise and read words, using basic units of knowledge to “decode” new or unfamiliar words.
According to the Department for Education's guidance for parents, "Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7."
Words are made up of just 44 sounds in English. You may have heard your child or their teacher use particular words that form the core of understanding phonics. Here's a quick explanation of some of the key concepts.
Speed sounds - Set 1
Speed sounds - Set 3
What are common exception words?
Common exception words are words in which the English Spelling code works in an unusual or uncommon way. They are not words for which phonics 'doesn't work', but they may be exceptions to spelling rules, or words which use a particular combination of letters to represent sound patterns in a rare or unique way.