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Top Tips for Improving Children’s Phonics

Published on 19th April 2021 by Tessa Robinson

Interested in Top Tips for Improving Children’s Phonics? We have spoken to some amazing small businesses and kids activity providers to tell us about their Top Tips for Improving Children’s Phonics.

Top Tips for Improving Children’s Phonics with Phonics Stars


What is Phonics?

It is an effective method of teaching which supports children’s ability to learn to read through developing mouth muscles, listening and memory skills.

Phonics teaches children a way to segment and blend pure sounds aurally (hearing) and orally (speaking)

We all know that we have 26 letters in the alphabet but did you know that there are approximately 44 sounds in the English language.

These sounds are referred to as phonemes. In English there are around 250 Graphemes. Graphemes are letter sounds or letter groups that correspond to a single sound, called phonemes (single grapheme), digraphs (2 graphemes, e.g. sh) and trigraphs (3 graphemes, e.g igh).

Sounds over letter names – It is important to encourage children to think about and remember the pure sounds the letters make, rather than their letter name, as well as making sure you don’t add the ‘schwa’ (adding uh to the end of phonemes) Quite often children are taught letter names early on. We believe in focusing on the phoneme/ sound over the letter name.

Try blending the letter names for   – C (see) – A (aye) – T (tee)

What word have you said?  Seeayetee. What’s a Seeayetee?

Now try with the ‘schwa C (cuh) – A(a) – (tuh)

What have you said this time? Cuhatuh, What’s a Cuhatuh?

Now try blending the pure sounds c-a-t = cat! Much easier if we say the phonemes instead of letter names.

Make it Fun!

There is a place for flash cards to support children in learning phonics but the emphasis needs to first be on making it as fun as possible.

Playing listening games outside and identifying every day sounds or sounds in our environment, eye spy using beginning sounds of things and sound talking words for children to guess are all things that can be done without any equipment.

Developing mouth muscles

Our mouths and throats produce a wide range of sounds. It’s amazing when you think about how important our mouth muscles are. The muscles in our chest produce the air flow for us to produce our speech sounds.

It’s easy to take for granted how natural it is to develop these muscles but many children need support to encourage these all important muscles to grow.

Phonics Stars Classes

At Phonics Stars™️ we support the development of learning Phonics in a wide range of ways. We believe that before we begin to introduce the letter symbols/phonemes to children, we develop listening and hearing skills prior to letters and sounds.

Our sessions promote the 3 strands and 7 aspects of phase one Phonics, gently leading into phase 2 and 3.

We teach Phonics through phases and through play, dance and movement for we believe children learn better when they move. There are 6 phases to phonics, letters and sounds.

Our activities support children to develop their listening skills, knowledge and understanding of discriminating sounds heard in their environment,  instrumental sounds, through body percussion, learning about rhythm and rhyme, discovering alliteration, hearing the sounds our voices make and through blending and segmenting orally and audibly.

You’ll find out more about the phases in further posts.

We aim for all children who attend our sessions to feel good about Phonics, we want to help children develop a positive relationship with phonics before or whilst their at school.

Find out more about Phonics Stars™️

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Top Tips for Improving Children’s Phonics with Phonics with Robot Reg

Top Tips for Improving Children's Phonics with Phonics with Robot RegPhonics is a way of teaching children to read and spell. Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured, systematic way it is most effective way of teaching young children to read.

Where to begin?

Environmental Sounds

Explore environmental sounds – the sounds all around – as a starting point. Can they distinguish between a cat meow and a dog bark? A drum bang and a triangle ding? Talk about and notice everyday sounds.

Nursery Rhymes

Regularly explore nursery rhymes together. Nursery Rhymes feature many literary devices such as alliteration, rhyme and rhythm that will aid your child’s phonic awareness.

Letter Sounds

Introduce letter sounds before names and encourage letter recognition by spotting them all around.

Blending and Segmenting

Play games that include blending and segmenting – breaking words up into the sounds such as s-u-n.

Use blending as part of everyday routines such as can you find your h-a-t and your c-oa-t.

Initial Sounds

Play games that focus on initial sounds such as making collections of objects starting with the same sound so that children can begin to recognise initial sounds.

Reading Books

Read! Read! Read! Rhyming books and alphabet books are especially useful and noticing sounds and letters in books is beneficial for early phonic awareness. Once your child has some grasp of phonics use simple phonic books to encourage them to sound out, blend and read to you.

Phonics with Robot Reg

Phonics with Robot Reg opened children and their parents and carers to a world of literacy. Classes are for ages 3 months – 6 years and teach phonic skills as well as activities to improve gross and fine motor skills in a high energy way so that each child does not even know they are learning. We have classes across England.



Instagram: @phonicswithrobotreghq

Top Tips for Improving Children’s Phonics with Interactive Phonics

Top Tips for Improving Children’s Phonics with Interactive PhonicsSynthetic phonics is the most widely used method of teaching reading in the UK. The process involves blending individual sounds in a word. Here are our top tips for practising phonics at home:

Pronounce sounds without a schwa (adding ‘uh’ to letters.)

  • It is important that children are taught the correct pronuciation in the first instance.

Have flashcards to support your child in learning and reviewing sounds.

  • There are a number of activities and games that can be played using flashcards including: Snap and Kim’s game.

Only introduce new sounds once your child has mastered sounds previously taught.

  • Work at a pace that is right for your child.
  • Ensure that your child knows both the letter names and their corresponding sounds.

Never forgot the value of praise.

  • Children often spell words phonetically. For example, a child may write the word girl as gurl. Praise your child for using their phonics and encourage them to think about the other ways that the ‘ur’ sound can be spelt.

Ideally, practise phonics daily with your child; keeping sessions short and fun.

  • 10 minutes for children in Reception and 15- 20 minutes for children in Year 1 or 2. Communicate with your child’s teacher.
  • Ask about their phonics programme.

Support your child by using texts that they can access.

  • This will help them to become confident and will make them less likely to guess the words.

About Interactive Phonics

At Interactive Phonics our qualified teachers offer both small group and 1:1 online tuition for primary aged children. Each child is offered a free phonics assessment prior to starting their class. Our structured lessons are designed to boost children’s confidence and apply the sounds that they have learnt in a fun way.

If you have any questions please contact: [email protected]


Classes take place Monday to Friday during term time 4:30pm – 6:30 pm.

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