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At Queensbridge Primary School, phonics is taught daily following the Letters and Sounds programme

At Queensbridge Primary School, phonics is taught daily and very effectively following the Letters and Sounds programme. It is a six-phase synthetic phonics programme, designed to teach children how the alphabet works for reading and spelling. It starts from early phonics activities for Nursery aged children and progresses to Year 2. Children are regularly assessed through the stages. Each day the children revise recent sounds, learn a new sound, practice the sounds in words and apply the sounds to reading or writing. Children also learn high frequency words in these sessions.

Children are supported to understand the purpose of learning phonics, to apply their developing skills in interesting and engaging literacy lessons.

There is a national Phonics Check for Year 1 in the Summer Term. All children will be assessed on their ability to decode 40 real and pseudo words and the results are made available to the parents.

Children at Queensbridge consistently demonstrate their ability to decode words as demonstrated in our above national average results in the Phonics Check.

Children who do not reach the required pass will be required to repeat the Phonics Check in Year 2. These children will receive additional support in small groups in Year 2 and beyond if necessary.

Ongoing support with reading and phonics is provided by the Reading Specialists. Class teachers receive regular training through staff meetings and through coaching and also with assistance for planning and resources.  Support staff are given the specific training for in-class reading and interventions.

Parents and Phonics

There are many resources, programmes and apps which can support your child’s learning at home – and your class teacher can also explain the learning that takes place.

Help with pronunciation and classroom learning –  some parents may find the pronunciation and letter names confusing,  Mr Thorne Does Phonics is a great site with easy to watch videos which will guide you through the expectations.

Other resources and ideas include:

iPad and iOs only:
Twinkl Phonics – many variations are available.
Pirate Phonics

Glossary of terms used: (Thanks to the Literacy Trust)

In the Autumn term there is a coffee morning to explain how we teach Phonics and the Year 1 Phonics Check.


blend — to draw individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. s-n-a-p, blended together, reads snap

segment  — to split up a word into its individual phonemes in order to spell it, e.g. the word ‘cat’ has three phonemes: /c/, /a/, /t/

digraph — two letters making one sound, e.g. sh, ch, th, ph.

vowel digraphs comprise of two vowels which, together, make one sound, e.g. ai, oo, ow

split digraph — two letters, split, making one sound, e.g. a-e as in make or i-e in site

grapheme — a letter or a group of letters representing one sound, e.g. sh, ch, igh, ough (as in ‘though’)

grapheme-phoneme correspondence (GPC) — the relationship between sounds and the letters which represent those sounds; also known as ‘letter-sound correspondences’

mnemonic — a device for memorising and recalling something, such as a snake shaped like the letter ‘S’

phoneme — the smallest single identifiable sound, e.g. the letters ‘sh’ represent just one sound, but ‘sp’ represents two (/s/ and /p/)

VC, CVC, CCVC — the abbreviations for vowel-consonant, consonant-vowel-consonant, consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant, which are used to describe the order of letters in words, e.g. am, ham, slam.