Systematic synthetic phonics helps all students achieve reading growth
Learn how this systematic synthetic phonics program is making a positive difference in the lives of teachers and students in the Northern Territory.Learn how
What is phonics and why is it important?
The English written language is an alphabetic code. Letters (graphemes) are symbols that represent the individual sounds (phonemes) of spoken language. Phonics is understanding the relationship between the sounds and the letter/s that represent them.
There are a number of different approaches to teaching phonics, all with varying levels of effectiveness. The evidence is clear, however, that systematic, synthetic phonics is the most effective approach.
Watch the video below to learn more about the teaching of phonics.
A synthetic phonics approach teaches beginner readers:
Such explicit instruction is particularly important for children who come from disadvantaged homes and communities, where oral language exposure in the pre-school years is significantly diminished when compared to children from more advantaged backgrounds (Buckingham, 2016).
Phonics alone is not sufficient, however. No serious reading scientist has ever claimed that it was.
Oxford-levelled books have helped millions of students all over the world learn to read and to love
At Oxford, we use an expertly developed and well-established system for levelling our books, which has been used to develop many of our popular and well-loved series including Project X and Oxford Reading Tree.
We’ve finely graded our books so you can accurately match children to the right book. With the help of expert authors our levelled books hook children of different ages into reading, capture their imaginations, and make them think.
Letters and Sounds phonics sequence
Oxford's phonics resources (excluding Read Write Inc.) are aligned with the Letters and Sounds phonics sequence. This supportive phonics framework ensures that each series is accessible to all students.
What is the Phonics Screening Check?
The Phonics Screening Check is a simple, brief (5—7 minute) reading check for Year 1 students. Its purpose is to check which and how many children have mastered phonic decoding – an essential early reading skill. In order to decode, one must:
- recognise individual letters and groups of letters
- know which letters represent which sounds
- blend individual sounds together to read words.
The screen will provide early identification of students who are struggling with this essential foundational reading skill and thus require appropriate intervention.
The check will also provide feedback for teachers and schools about their instructional approaches and supply the impetus to make improvements.
What does the Phonics Screening Check mean for my school?
Simply using the Phonics Screening Check to measure phonic knowledge alone won’t improve reading in your school. It’s what you do with the information that matters. The following questions should start to be considered in your school:
- Are you teaching phonics effectively?
- Do you teach phonics systematically?
- How often do you teach phonics?
- Are you using decodable texts that match the students’ phonic knowledge?
- How do you assess phonics?
- Do teachers have the required level of knowledge and understanding to teach phonics effectively?
- Do you adopt a whole school approach?
What do teachers say about Oxford's phonics resources?
eBook Library for Letters and Sounds
Engage your students with this brand new eBook library, containing 100 eBooks aligned to Letters and Sounds Sets and Phases, accessed through Oxford Owl.Learn more