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Teaching tips

Tejinder Dhingra's top five tips for using synthetic phonics successfully : 1 Get the sounds right. These need to be really clear. If not, children won't be able to blend the words. They need to be short and sharp. For instance, "F" is not pronounced "fuh", but much shorter, like the sound made when you are pumping up a bicycle tyre quickly.

2 Develop good partner work among the children. Get them to be good teachers for each other, as well as good listeners.

3 Ensure good-quality modelling by the teachers for writing. There is a direct relationship between this and the work the children produce.

4 Let the parents know what you are doing, as the pupils will come home talking about Fred and how he is helping them read. Organise drop-in sessions to teach them the sounds.

5 Make it fun. One of the criticisms of synthetic phonics is that it is too prescriptive, but teachers can still bring in their good teaching skills to make it lively and enjoyable for children.

* Further information on "Read Write Inc" at www. ruthmiskinliteracy. com Evaluation pack from pound;40 for Foundation stage to Year 4 lwww.prometheanworld.comukjustphonics

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