Victory over Phonics: Diamond Jubilee High School’s unique program

Hyderabad: The Diamond Jubilee High School, Hyderabad (DJHSH), managed by the Aga Khan Education Service, India (AKESI), which is ranked amongst the country’s most respected education and early childhood education brands, undertook a new initiative during the pandemic called “Victory over Phonics” – a one of its kind program, which was exclusively penned for its pre-primary parents.

It is essential for parents to understand how phonics helps to increase a child’s confidence and instill the love of reading at an early age, rather than merely memorizing a few words individually. DJHSH designed this phonics awareness program to gradually introduce the phonic learning skill with interactive and engaging games, activities, pre-session assignments and demo sessions. The Program aimed to make the parents understand the advantages of reading & writing through phonics method; age-appropriate ways to enable young children to comprehend reading; and the importance of play-way technique to practice daily reading habits.

Victory over Phonics: Diamond Jubilee High School's unique program 7
Victory over Phonics: Diamond Jubilee High School's unique program 8

The school got in touch with parents and collected their feedback to understand the needs based on which they initiated the workshop exclusively for the parents, to learn the best practices in phonics and implement them in student’s homework and daily home reading practices sessions. The school was delighted to witness the excellent participation from parents and the grandparents, who were excited to volunteer to be a change agent in their grandchild’s learning

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Mrs. Ruksar Sorathia, English teacher in the Pre-Primary section at DJHSH says: “During the pandemic, we realized that a child spends only 45 minutes a day with the teacher and rest of the day with the parents. Hence, we felt that the awareness of the parents about phonic skills is very critical for a student’s progress. This program had helped familiarize parents with the basic concepts of Phonics, who can then help their children better at home”.

The session mainly focused on making parents understand the importance of phonics in reading, comprehending, and composing text with ease. They shared the most made mistakes in pronunciation in daily conversation. The journey of phonics starts at the beginning of a child’s life since he/she typically speaks the first sound as “ma”. How a child can read books using phonics was shown through examples of our children. The program also emphasized on the ways to introduce new words (sight words, action words) into the child’s vocabulary through the parents during the virtual sessions. Parental tips and tricks were shared to improve reading skills at home.

Mrs. Tanusri Paul, mother of Dipti Paul from UKG said, “I would like to thank DJHSH for conducting such an informative program for parents to learn about modern-day learning techniques around phonics. I was amazed to see the commendable teaching skills and knowledge the DJHSH teachers possess that enable our child to learn better in this competitive world. As a parent, I learned new ways of teaching phonics (through actions, songs, and games) to my kid, and the session reminded me of my childhood memories.”

Firdous Fatima, mother of LKG student Fizza, expressed her deep appreciation and gratitude for the school’s initiative, quoting, “The idea to educate the parents so that they correct themselves for their children, is unique and effective”.

During the workshop, many parents reminisced that they too had wished to be accomplished speakers at one point of time but could not fulfil their dreams due to mother tongue influence or schooling background which did not have such language-based sessions. They were happy to see that their children have the good fortune to correct themselves at the right age, which will help them become better speakers tomorrow.

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