Recently we spoke to the parents of students to explain our methodology with regard to literacy.
Ms Jane William (Shadow Chairperson of Governors) was commissioned to explain to parents the methodology used in Coruna British School to teach students to read and write. As she explained in her presentation, Jane works as a consultant, inspecting in a number of British schools around the world to ensure that the curriculum is taught correctly. There is no one better than her to inform parents about the method we follow in our centre.
She stressed the importance of conveying to the children that when they open a book, they are going to have fun. It must be explained to them that they have a front cover, back cover, a title, pages that should be turned carefully and, inside, they tell a story.
In Coruna British School we follow several steps, such as learning the sound of the words, and how to hold a pencil correctly, to understand that all letters have a sound and that when used side by side they make up another, together we will identify the different sounds found in a word and finally they will face the so called ‘complicated words’, i.e.; those words that do not follow the usual phonetic rules.
Every letter, with its sound
During the first stage the children will learn letters by the initial sounds of words. They will write them everywhere, even in mid air and play with the sound they make. Don’t be surprised then if your child comes home and you find them constantly saying “ssssssssh” or moving their arms around in the air in the form of an undulating serpent. They are just trying to learn the letter “S” and given that the word “Snake” starts with the letter S they are just forming a logic link.
Ms Jane also suggested that parents play at looking for items used in every day life that might serve to reinforce those letters. For example, the letter “S” Snake, sun, sound… We recommend you follow her advice and practice with your children everyday words. Together we can turn learning into a game.
After the letters alone, they will learn the digraphs, i.e.: that when two letters are used side by side they form a new sound. This is the case with the “OO” found in “roof”, “tooth”, etc.
Ms Jane wanted to emphasize that learning to read and write is a task that should be taught at the same time. In this way they will recognise the sound and associated it with the written word.
Teachers will keep parents updated about the phonetic groups being worked on in class, to help them continue with reinforcement at home.
Confusing words, those that do not apply to the regular phonetic system, will be taught at the end. For example: “I”, “I”, “all”, “do” or “to”.
Ms Jane William also recommends that parents who buy literature to read at home choose books that follow the same learning system of British literacy, since Americans do not use this method they may result confusing for students.
Each child will learn at their own pace. It is not good for them if we compare their own progress with that of others. They will all fly to the best of their ability, but each one at their own height. In the end, all the children will reach the necessary level, assures Ms Jane William.