“What Is Phonics?”

Phonics is the process of matching sounds to letters. It is an important skill when learning to read and write in English.

There are two main approaches to teaching children phonics — synthetic phonics and analytic phonics.

Analytic phonics starts with taking a word that children know the meaning of, and then analysing it to see how the sounds in the word match the letters we see within the word.

So five-year-old Emma will learn that her name starts with the sound “e” which is represented by the capital letter E, followed by the sound “m” which is represented by the two letters “mm”, and ends with the sound “u”, which is represented by the letter a.

Synthetic phonics starts with letters which the children learn to match with sounds. The meaning of the words are irrelevant, and indeed, inconsequential.

The theory is that the children should master letter/sound matches first before trying to attend to meaning.”

Extract from an Article written by Ms Adoniou


Misty Adoniou is an associate professor in language, literacy and TESL at the University of Canberra.


With the axing of the Reading Recovery Program,which targets year 1 students struggling with literacy, systemic phonics instruction in the early years, is more important than ever.

So how can we as parents help our children confidently start kindergarten?

Read to your children every day helping them to learn to match their letter names and sounds.

This is a great pre-reading skill.


“I spy…”

“I am thinking of a word beginning with….”

Hangman with simple 3 letter words.

Find me something beginning with ‘a’ …..

Fun learning!

StartSmart School Readiness App introduces children to their letter names and sounds in a fun and active way.Our great “Aussie” voice will also help in directing the correct letter formations.

Download the App from Itunes as well as the free colouring book.