Ulladulla Public School

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Synthetic Phonics

Ulladulla Public School uses the synthetic phonics approach to teaching literacy.  We are so fortunate to have Instructional Leader - Literacy, Kim Peters, at UPS and Kim will be hosting several videos to support our parents in understanding the approach we have taken to literacy and give you a glimpse into what we do and why we do it.

We started the synthetic phonics program with our Early Stage 1, Stage 1 and Stage 2 students, and 2022 is the first time our Stage 3 and Support Unit students have been involved in the program as we look at learning new literacy behaviours.  The whole school will now be teaching literacy in a focussed and consistent way.  This has many benefits for our students as there is no unlearning and relearning each year; transitions to the next year will be fluid; each child receives instruction at their level (after the initial testing is completed).

Our first video explains in a general way what synthetic phonics is.  The second video in the series outlines the specific components of the synthetic phonics program we are implementing at UPS.

We will follow that with a separate video for each component where we will show that aspect in action in the classroom, describe the end-of-year goals for each grade and give some suggestions of how you can help at home.

We also have support videos for parents to demonstration of the type of comprehension questions you can ask your child during home reading sessions.


Supporting Parents to Understand Synthetic Phonics at UPS

Video 1 - Introduction to Synthetic Phonics

The first of a series of informative videos explaining and demonstrating the research and pedagogy of Synthetic Phonics at Ulladulla Public School.

Video 2 - Synthetic Phonics Program Overview

This video introduces Ulladulla Public School's Synthetic Phonics Program and its components. 

Video 3 - Visual Processing - Introduction

The first component of Synthetic Phonics is Visual Processing. This video explains this component.

Video 4 - Phonological Awareness - Introduction

The second component is Phonological Awareness. This video explain this componenet and gives an example of what this looks like in the classroom. 

Video 5 - Handwriting - How it links to Synthetic Phonics

The third video describes how handwriting links into our Synthetic Phonics program. 

Supporting Parents with Home Reading

We have developed some videos to help parents with home reading. 

Video 1 - Home Reading - Introduction

Video 2 - Home Reading - Literal Questions

Video 3 - Home Reading - Vocabulary Questions

Video 4 - Home Reading - Inferential Questions

Synthetic Phonics in the classroom

The following videos will give you an insight into what Synthetic Phonics looks like in the classroom. A lot of the work students do happens in the 'Engine Room' with the teacher, which is intensive small group activities meeting the needs of individual students. 

Video 1 - Dictated Sentences in the Engine Room

This video gives a brief introduction into dictated sentences and then shows a short example of what this looks like in the Engine Room. 

Video 2 - Text Reading in the Classroom

Glossary of terms you may hear your child use:

Engine room is where students work with their teacher in a small group. They complete word attack, a dictated sentence and guided reading. 

Phono Level Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students work through levels of phonological awareness in the engine room. This is the ability to hear, produce and manipulate sounds and words and is developed through talking, listening, singing, nursery rhymes and games.

Word Attack develops reading fluency and is a timed process where students practice decoding skills by reading a page of words at their phonics fluency level. As they master each level, they progress to the next.

Spelling is every Wednesday at 2:15. We alternate teaching and testing each fortnight. Students work in a group with students on the same level. They do not get a word list to memorise but learn to spell words using letter sound correspondance and spelling rule knowledge. Phonics levels progress in the same sequence as Word Attack. As soon as they achieve mastery of a level, they move on to the next one.