Bousfield Primary School


PhonicsWe place a strong emphasis on teaching phonics in the early years because we believe this lays the foundations for successful reading and writing.

Developing phonemic awareness, and the ability to hear, identify and manipulate different sounds is a crucial skill.

There are many technical terms used in phonics. Parents and teachers may not always feel that they are speaking the same language so here is a useful guide on these terms.

Essential Letters and Sounds

At Bousfield, we follow the Department for Education approved Phonics programme called Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS). 

Essential Letters and Sounds

Essential Letters and Sounds is a complete Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme (SSP) which is designed to teach children how to read through the act of decoding and blending.

An SSP teaches children the link between the sounds of our language (phonemes) and the written representation of these sounds (graphemes), or the spellings of the sounds contained within the English language. 

Children are taught Phonics daily in Reception, Y1 and Y2, as well as when required in Y3. Pupils who need catch up support in phonics are engaged in interventions in Key Stage 2 (Y3 - Y6) in order to ensure that all children are able to read fluently and confidently.

Phonics ProgressionTargeted interventions

For those children who need additional support, we have various targeted interventions. We use reading schemes such as Jelly & Bean and Read, Write, Inc. to consolidate progress through the phonic phases.

In addition to phonics, children learn sight words by repetition and retrieval.

Support at home for families and carers

Here are some different ways you can encourage phonic learning:

  • Ensure your child spends 10 minutes every day learning weekly spellings (little and often is the best way to learn spellings)
  • Remember to say the word, stretch the word, robot the word, count the phonemes, write the word, and finally check the spelling
  • Use magnetic letters, different colour pens, play dough when learning new phonemes and graphemes
  • Use phonemes, not letter names, when writing spellings and sounding out words when reading
  • Use letter names when spelling ‘sight words’ (remember a sight word cannot be sounded out)
  • When reading a school book with your child, look out for spellings and phonemes already learnt
  • Use the Mr Thorne videos to check the pronunciation
  • Praise your child when they use phonemes to spell an unknown word
  • Play games from listed websites and have fun

We have created some video presentations covering phonics which may be helpful to you in supporting your child.