What is Phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:

  • Recognise the sounds that individual letters make,
  • Identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make-such as 'sh' or 'oo'.
  • Blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

Children can then use this knowledge to 'decode' new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.

The children are taught to read words by blending, which means pushing all the sounds together to make a word.  The children are taught to spell words by segmenting, which means sounding out words and writing down the sounds they can hear.

Why Phonics?

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way-starting with the easiest sounds and progressing to the most complex, it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7 years old. Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills that they need to tackle new words. Children can go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and read for enjoyment. (Department for Education)

Phonics at Northbrook

At Northbrook Primary Academy, in order to achieve high standards in reading, each child in the Reception and Key Stage 1  participate in a daily 25/30 minute phonics session, following the Bug Club Phonics scheme. Phonics is essential in supporting children as they learn to read.

Bug Club Phonics is designed to keep the class together, leaving no child behind. At all stages, reading progress is assessed and gaps are immediately addressed to ensure every child secures strong phonics foundations.

Bug Club Phonics is designed to build children’s confidence and enjoyment of reading at the very start of their reading journey. It’s designed to get your children reading real books as soon as possible and feel empowered that reading is for them. All home reading and guided reading books are categorised in accordance to the phonic phases to ensure that the children receive the right balance in order to be successful at reading using the skills they have been taught in their phonics lessons.

Our primary focus in EYFS is to teach and support decoding through phonics, with the end goal of fluency. In KS1, children build on these skills progressing to split digraphs, spelling rules and the ability to read a range of tricky words.

For more information on the which sounds your child will be learning in school, please see the progression grid below which includes our home reading books: