At Eynsham school, we use phonics as a method of teaching children to read and write the English Language. It teaches children that the sounds of English are represented by letters or groups of letters. Children are taught to read letters or groups of letters by saying the sound(s) they represent – so, they are taught that the letter ‘m’ sounds like ‘mmmm’ when we say it. Children can then start to read words by blending (synthesising) the sounds together to make a word. For example, they will learn that ‘m’ makes an mmm sound, ‘a’ makes an ahh sound, and ‘t’ makes a ttt sound.
Then, they will be taught to blend these sounds together to read whole words. For example, m–a–t makes ‘mat’. Like many schools in the UK, here at Eynsham we use a systematic approach called Letters and Sounds to teach children to read using phonics. This is split into six phases, from learning about sounds at nursery to becoming fluent readers around age 7.