ELIZABETH PARK PRIMARY SCHOOL
Teaching students to read is essential in the early years of schooling. In order to do this effectively research suggests that phonemic awareness is central to the process. Phonemic awareness focuses on the sounds and deals with spoken language mainly auditory where students have the opportunity to play with sounds in words. In the early years of schooling students are taught to be phonemically aware through language awareness, rhyming, onset fluency, blending, identifying initial, middle or final sounds, segmenting and then adding and deleting sounds.
The next important step in learning to read is to learn phonics. The main focus of phonics is learning letters and the sounds that correspond. It mainly deals with written language and is both auditory and visual. Phonics focuses on reading and writing letters according to their sounds, learning spelling patterns and phonological structure. Students are taught what sounds letter make, how to blend learnt sounds together to read a word and how to segment (separate) sounds apart to spell them. At Elizabeth Park Primary School, we teach synthetic phonics through a program called Jolly Phonics. The program teaches the 42 Jolly Phonics sounds through animated stories and actions. Students are taught how to use these sounds to blend and segment individual words before moving onto sentences.