Phonics explained: for Nottingham families

Nottm Literacy Champions Phonics2

If your little ones have just started school for the first time they will be learning to read and write using phonics. Phonics teaches children to read individual letters and groups of letters by saying the sounds they make.

Most adults weren’t taught to read with phonics so many parents and carers aren’t familiar with how it all works. This can make things confusing for you and your child as you read and learn together at home.

But don’t worry: our brilliant volunteer Read On Nottingham Literacy Champions Mehnaz and Dee want to change that! They have recorded Mehnaz showing you how to make the sounds that your children are learning at school.

Don’t be phased by phonics!

Watch Mehnaz and Dee’s brilliant videos below to find out more about phonics and learn how to sound them out together.

They’ll be sharing a new video each Friday in November on this page and on the Read On Nottingham Facebook page too.

Phonics an intro

Session 1 s a t p i n

Session 2: c k e h m r d

Session 3: g o u l b

Session 4: f j q v w x y z

What is Phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write the English language. It teaches children to read individual letters (e.g. a, s, t) and groups of letters (e.g. oo, sh, igh) by saying the sounds they make. They then learn how to blend the sounds to make the words they are reading or writing.

For example, if a child knows the sounds for t, p, a and s, they can build up the words "tap", "pat", "pats", "taps" and "sat".

Phonics lingo and info

  • What is a phoneme? This is the smallest unit of sound in a word
  • What is a grapheme? This is the written representation of a phoneme
  • There are 44 phonemes in spoken English
  • What is a digraph? This is two letters which combine to make one sound (e.g. ch in chip)
  • What is a trigraph? This is three letters which combine to make one sound (e.g. air in hair)