Research tells us that there are learning to read and, in particular, becoming a skilled reader involves these 5 core skills must be taught: phonemic awareness, synthetic phonics, vocabulary, reading fluency and comprehension.
It’s simple; if children can’t lift the words off a page, they can’t get the meaning! Often when a child is having reading difficulties it is because they don’t have the basic phonics foundations. They do not quickly and automatically read words; they must laboriously and painfully sound out, desperately trying to hold each sound in their head to glue it to the next. If they are using all their headspace to lift the words from the page, they have no mental-capacity to find meaning!
Synthetic phonics gives a child the ability to easily and effortlessly crack the reading code. They learn the 44 sounds of English and are able to quickly and automatically use their synthetic phonics skills to read words. This frees up their little head to think about the story – comprehension!
Phonemic awareness: The ability to hear, focus on and manipulate sounds in a spoken word. For example, a child with good phonemic awareness will be able to tell you which sound to change in the word ‘cat’, to make it ‘cot’. Read our blog post on phonemic awareness.
Synthetic phonics: The ability to crack the reading and spelling code. Learn more about synthetic phonics.
Vocabulary: A bank of word knowledge. Vocabulary is an unconstrained skill which means that there is no limit to learning; whether you are 5 or 35 you can still develop your vocabulary!
Reading fluency: We want automatic word recognition to free up headspace for comprehension. Teacher Shirley explains how to develop fluency in her blog post Fluency: Why it’s Important and How to Develop it.
Comprehension: To take meaning from text.
Phonics Hero will give children a solid phonics foundation from which vocabulary and comprehension can grow!