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Code Cracker

by Dr. Alice Tang

Phonics Foundation is a systematic and explicit approach to teach young children phonics through word study strategies.  

Watch the introductory video below!

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Systematic and Scaffolded Learning

we start their phonics learning journey by teaching the children the name of the letters (for example, “t” and corresponding sounds (for example, /t/) before we teach them words that contain them. 


The next stage involves teaching the children how to blend them together to read the word. Through synthetic phonics, we show the children how to build up words with letters from the start and always blending with words.  


The third stage – spelling. Spelling is then taught by reversing the reading process called “segmenting”. It means they try to break one whole word into graphemes that they have learnt. Then they just have to read the word they have produced by sounding and blending.  

Lesson Components

Every lesson has these 5 components:  

  1. Revise previous sounds  

  2. Teach new letter and corresponding sound  

  3. Practise  

  4. Language Application by reading, spelling or writing (depending on their age group)  

  5. Assessment  

    • How’s the child letter-letter sound correspondence? 

    • How’s the child’s ability to blend? 

    • How about the ability to segment?  

    • Ability to recognise, use and write irregular key words? 


Language acquisition can be systematic and progressive. If we begin at Pre-Nursery, children will be able to cover all 44 letter sounds/graphemes-phonemes before they graduate!  

Tools for Instruction

We use a variety of tools in our classrooms to enrich their learning  


1) Grapheme Cards are used to teach the children letter/grapheme names and their sounds. For example, “m”, man, /m/. We repeat this thrice when we teach the children, and also practice with them every day.  

The use of the Grapheme Cards also provides a visual experience to train children on their understanding of the letter/grapheme – sound relationships. This is both a visual and auditory drill. It helps to children to pronounce the phoneme immediately, and also recall the grapheme instantly.  


2) Magnetic Letters and Boards are used to consolidate the children’s ability to blend (i.e. read), and segment (i.e. spell) the words. This is useful for children who are still learning to read.  


3) The Code Cracker series of workbooks also enable the children to practice recalling their sounds, blend and segmenting process. This is introduced to the children who are older as it will help them to consolidate their learning through pencil-paper activities too!  

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