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By learningclubs, Oct 30 2017 10:43AM

Learning to read is probably the most important thing your son or daughter will do in reception (well, maybe equal with having fun!) but it won't all happen in class: parents need to help at home too.


Children learn to recognise all the letters of the alphabet in Reception, the idea being that any time they are faced with a letter they will be able to make the sound of that letter. 


At school children will be taught letter sounds with songs, games and activities, for example: a 'lucky dip' where they have to say the sound of a letter they have picked or matching an object to the letter that makes its initial sound. It is vital that they are confident with all their letter sounds before they move onto the next stage, which is putting sounds of letters together to make short words.


Whereas many of today's parents learned to read whole words using the 'look and say' method (think Ladybird's Janet and John series), phonics is a systematic approach to teaching children the sounds that make up words. Words are broken down into the sounds they're made up from and then these sounds are 'blended' together to make the word.


For example, with 'dog', children learn the sounds the letters d,o, and g make separately and then how they blend to say 'dog'.


A number of high-frequency words and tricky words are also learned in Reception; children are encouraged to learn these words "off by heart" as they're not always phonically decodable with the phonics skills they have.





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