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Structured Literacy in Year 1

Beverley Smith —

By now all year 1 students would have received their first pack of letter cards for learning to read and write.

This specific instruction will be directed at helping your child first develop a greater understanding of how print works in reading and spelling. We will be teaching your child how the spoken sounds are mapped with letters in words. This will involve teaching reading slowly and systematically.

  1. The children will be taught individual letter-sound correspondences according to the stages in the Scope and Sequence.

When learning a new letter, they learn the name of the letter, the sound it makes, and how to write it correctly.

  1. Then they will be shown how to slide these sounds together to make and read words like am, Sam, Tim, map, and it. They will also be shown how to break words into individual sounds to help them spell.

  2. These are very critical early literacy skills called blending and segmenting that they are essential to unlocking the ‘ English Code’. This instruction will direct your child to really look across words in print, rather than guess or rely on picture cues.

  3. We will also teach them a few heart words at each stage (words we want them to learn by heart, they are tricky words but essential for reading) eg. The, my, was.

  4. When your child can recall the heart words, is fluent in the first group of letter sounds, and is able to segment and blend the sounds together in a word, they will then be ready to start on reading decodable books. Therefore, a book will not be sent home just yet, instead they will receive a letter-sound pack, and structured sentences to read.

You Can Support Their Home Learning By:

  • Reading plenty of picture books to them – in particular rhyming ones

  • Reading and writing the letters and heart words from their sound packs

  • Discussing words and what they mean in everyday talk

  • Playing "I spy" the sound – finding an object in the house that begins with the sound….or ends with the sound… (e.g /t/)

  • Finding known letters in picture books and saying its sound