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How do you learn phonics?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by rks524, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. rks524

    rks524 New commenter


    I'm just about to graduate from my undergrad and am going on to do a master's in education to give me some time to get used to a new area and get some more experience while I apply for PGCEs for the 2019-2020 cohort.

    I'm currently doing my 15 days work experience in a primary school and have come across a problem: how on earth do you learn phonics and how much do you need to know before applying for a PGCE?

    I know the phonetic sounds of the letters in the alphabet (I learnt these by watching alphablocks XD ) and obviously I can read in English so can sound out pairs of letters such as 'sh' and 'ee' but how much knowledge of phonics are you expected to have before even applying for a PGCE?

    I've not spent a huge amount of time with KS1 as I've been working with a different year group every week so far and am about to start a block placement in year 5/6.

    TIA xx
  2. gogogulliver

    gogogulliver New commenter

    "Phonics" actually differs from place to place. Your school should train you as part of your induction in whatever programme they use.

    Good luck!
    rks524 likes this.
  3. rks524

    rks524 New commenter

    So does this mean you're not expected to have a comprehensive knowledge before beginning a PGCE then if every school is different?

    During my initial visit to the school I'm gaining work experience in, I asked which phonics scheme they follow and the head explained that they don't follow a scheme they use little bits from lots.
  4. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

    This may not apply to your age range, however ...

    There are differences between the type of phonics you will find in the English Primary School and phonetics and phonology texts for general second language acquisition. My very limited experience of a Y4 placement was that a large display of alternative possible vowel spellings was available to the class, but not in practice used. Perhaps by that stage these alternatives were known implicitly.

    Attachment is what I would've appreciated, prior to placement, to make sense of the display. Not too hard to come by, but reference escapes me at the moment.

    Attached Files:

  5. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    You won't be expected to know much at all, however learning about some ideas now is only going to help. It is a way of being able to being able to turn spoken language into a written one and vice versa, It's only one method though and other methods need to be used to be able read effectively - e.g. you can use the wind to wind the clock.

    Key to phonics is developing their knowledge of Grapheme (the way of writing the sound) Phoneme (the sound) Correspondence - GPC. There are a variety if different ways of going about this, like Read Write Inc or Jolly Phonics, but they all revolve around using learning in a systematic way, and being about to blend and segment the GPC.

    Although it's old (2007) the letters and sounds document is useful to start to understand things imho.
  6. ElizaMorrell

    ElizaMorrell Occasional commenter

    Alphablocks is ace.

    The Letters and Sounds book is the basis for most other phonics schemes as far as I'm aware. Order of introduction, phases, general game ideas, etc. It's old, but it's the bible. As far as different schemes go, it's basically different implementation of the same core knowledge/skills. There's not much difference.

    I learnt phonics before my PGCE when I was volunteering in a year 1 class. I did a year of volunteering in the morning and working in the evening to make sure I had a decent grounding going into my PGCE.

    Just get as much exposure to year 1/2 as you can. Schools are pretty welcoming of extra (free) hands, and it makes way more sense when you see it in action.
  7. rks524

    rks524 New commenter

    Thank you this is great! I'll definitely look more into it if and when I get a place on a PGCE as I'll be applying in October/November so plenty of time before starting the course to volunteer and get reading!

  8. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    There are plenty of phonics training programs on YouTube e.g. one flavour called ‘jolly phonics’


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