What Makes a Good Reader?

Research tells us that there are five core elements a good reader needs; phonemic awareness, Synthetic Phonics, vocabulary, reading fluency and comprehension.

Why does Phonics Hero only teach Synthetic Phonics?

It’s pretty simple really, if children can’t read the words on a page, they can’t get the meaning! Often when a child is having reading difficulties it is because they don’t have the basic Synthetic Phonics foundations. They do not quickly and automatically read words; they must labouriously and painfully sound out; desperately trying to hold each sound in their head to glue it to the next. If we are using all our headspace to lift the words from the page, we have no capacity to find meaning!

Synthetic Phonics gives your child the ability to crack the reading code. They will know all the 44 sounds of English and be able to quickly and automatically use their Synthetic Phonics skills to read the words. This frees up their little head to think about the story – comprehension!

Tell me more about the 5 core elements:

Phonemic awareness: The ability to hear, focus on and manipulate sounds in a spoken word. For example, a child with good phonemic awareness will be able to tell you which sound to change in the word, ‘cat’, to make it ‘cot’.

Synthetic Phonics: The ability to crack the reading and spelling code.

Vocabulary: A bank of word knowledge. Vocabulary is an unconstrained skill which means that there is no limit to learning; whether you are 5 or 35 you can still develop your vocabulary!

Reading fluency: We want automatic word recognition to free up headspace for comprehension.

Comprehension: To take meaning from text.

What can I do to help at home?

Phonics Hero practices phonemic awareness, Synthetic Phonics and fluency within the games. Once these skills are embedded you will find there is the headspace to grow vocabulary and to think about the text. At home you can:

  • Discuss words your child doesn’t know to grow vocabulary
  • Read, read, read to your child. You will be the best role model of reading; showing your child what a fluent and confident reader looks like. Give them something to aim for!
  • Discuss the books you have just read; relate the stories to your child’s experiences, to other texts and discuss what the text might be inferring.