Onthank Primary 3

Active Phonics information


Active Literacy and Phonics

Your child is following an Active Literacy and Phonics approach in class.

Active Phonics teaches and develops spelling, reading and writing skills in a structured way; and some of the words that we use in class to teach these skills may be new to you.

We hope this information will help you to support your child’s learning, homework tasks and understand what they are being taught in class.

What is a phoneme?

A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound. Your child will be taught about these as they progress through school.

We start by teaching the single letter phonemes. For example- ‘a’ as in ant, ‘b’ as in bat etc.

Homework tasks will be set to help your child recognise, say, sound out and use the single phonemes that make up the alphabet.

What is a cvc word?

Once your child has a good understanding of these single letter phonemes then they will start using these to make cvc words.

A cvc word is a 3 letter word that is made up of a consonant, vowel, consonant. For example- cat, dog, pet, fun etc.

Your child has been taught about vowels and consonants and will be able to tell you what they are.

At this stage the children are taught about blending these 3 sounds together to make a word.

The process of blending sounds together to make a word is a very important skill for reading, spelling and writing.

You can have lots of fun with your child making cvc words because they rhyme.

For example- your child could be given a cvc word such as cat and then try to say and make other cvc words that rhyme with that word. You can make up silly sentences or stories that rhyme and spot rhyming cvc words in story books etc.

In class your child has a magnetic board and letters they can use to make cvc words. They will put these magnetic letters into their Elkonin boxes; or write their word in an Elkonin box.

What is an Elkonin box?

This is what an Elkonin box looks like. Your child will use this to show each individual phoneme (sound) that makes up a word.Image result for image of an elkonin box

The skill of breaking words into their individual phonemes is very important for building spelling, reading and writing skills.

Cvc words have 3 phonemes and 3 letters.

However, the number of phonemes (sounds) in a word may be different from the number of letters in a word. For example-

 Image result for image of an elkonin box 

What is a joined phoneme?

Building upon the skills your child now has using single phonemes, blending them together to make cvc words and using elkonin boxes we begin to teach joined phonemes. Joined phonemes are 2 or more letters that are joined together to make a single sound. For example- the ‘sh’ sound and ‘ee’ sound in the word ‘sheep’.Homework tasks will be set to help your child recognise, say, sound out and use joined phonemes.Your child will have magnetic letters joined together to make a joined phoneme to help them make words with that sound.

For example- ‘ck’ in the words black, duck, muck, luck etc.

We will teach these joined phonemes in a structured way as your child progresses.

Your child may borrow magnetic letters to make words with you at home and elkonin boxes to record these words for homework.

We hope this information is useful and has helped explain some of the words that we use in class and the methods we are using to raise attainment in literacy.

As a staff team we see the value of this approach and the children really enjoy and understand what and how they are being taught. We hope you can see how it will help your child on their journey to becoming a confident and able reader and writer and you feel confident supporting them on their journey with us!


Mrs Strain P2St




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