We 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, the ability to hear, identify and manipulate different sounds is a crucial skill.

We use the DFE guidance ‘Letters and Sounds’ to teach interactive whole class lessons in the Foundation Stage and KS1. Children are taught to read letters or groups of letters (graphemes) by saying the sounds (phonemes) they represent. Children start to read words by blending the sounds (phonemes) together.

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

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

Ways to Support your Child at Home

  • 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 website/app to check 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.


    Oxford Owl