Henwick Primary School




In this section we aim to:

  • share how phonics is taught
  • develop parents’ confidence in helping their children with phonics and reading
  • teach the basics of phonics and some useful phonics terms
  • outline the stages in phonic development
  • give an insight of the Year 1 phonic test
  • give ideas of how you can support your child at home

At Henwick, we use the Phonics Play scheme.

Phonics is all about using…

Learning phonics will help your child to become a good reader and writer.

Daily Phonics

  • Every day the children between 20 – 30 minute sessions of phonics.
  • Fast paced approach.
  • We use the Letters and Sounds planning document to support the teaching of phonics and Jolly Phonics.
  • There are 6 phonics phases which the children work through at their own pace.

Phonic terms

  • Phonemes: The smallest units of sound that are found within a word
  • Grapheme: The spelling of the sound e.g. Th
  • Diagraph: Two letters that make one sound when read
  • Trigraphs: Three letters that make one sound
  • CVC: Stands for consonant, vowel, consonant.
  • Segmenting is breaking up a word into its sounds.
  • Blending : Putting the sounds together to read a word
  • Tricky words: Words that cannot easily be decoded

Saying the sounds

Sounds should be articulated clearly and precisely.

Phase 2: Learning phonemes to read and write simple words

Children will learn their first 19 phonemes: 

Set 1:  s  a  t  p    Set 2:  i   n   m  d

Set 3:  g  o  c  k    Set 4:  ck (as in duck)  e  u  r

Set 5:  h   b  l   f      ff (as in puff)   ll (as in hill)     ss (as in hiss)

They will use these phonemes to read and spell simple “consonant-vowel-consonant” (CVC) words: 

sat, tap, dig, duck, rug, puff, hill, hiss

All these words contain 3 phonemes.

Phase 3: Learning the long vowel phonemes

Children will enter phase 3 once they know the first 19 phonemes and can blend and segment to read and spell CVC words.

They will learn another 26 phonemes:

j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu

ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er

They will use these phonemes (and the ones from Phase 2) to read and spell words: 

chip, shop, thin, ring, pain, feet, night,   

boat, boot, look, farm, fork, burn,

town, coin, dear, fair, sure

Phase 4: Introducing consonant clusters: reading and spelling words with four or more phonemes

Children move into phase 4 when they know all the phonemes from phases 2 and 3 and can use them to read and spell simple words (blending to read and segmenting to spell).

Phase 4 doesn’t introduce any new phonemes. 

It focuses on reading and spelling longer words with the phonemes they already know.

These words have consonant clusters at the beginning:

spot, trip, clap, green, clown

    …or at the end: tent, mend, damp, burnt

          …or at the beginning and end!  trust, spend,  twist

Phase 5

Teach new graphemes for reading

ay, ou, ie, ea, oy, ir, ue, aw, wh, ph, ew, oe, au,

a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e

Learn alternative pronunciations of graphemes (the same grapheme can represent more than one phoneme):

Fin/find,  hot/cold,  cat/cent,  got/giant,  but/put, cow/blow,  tie/field,  eat/bread,  farmer/her, hat/what,  yes/by/very,  chin/school/chef, out/shoulder/could/you

How we teach split diagraphs

Some sounds are special friends but misbehave when they are together so they have a letter to keep them apart – a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e as in cake, phone, huge, smile.

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check is an assessment to confirm whether pupils have learnt their letter sounds and whether they can use them to decode and read a range of words of increasing phonic complexity.

It is a compulsory requirement that all schools carry out the check.

Class teachers will conduct the phonic check with each Year 1 child in their class on a 1:1 basis.

Which words will ‘The Check’ contain?

The check will contain a mixture of real words (dark, phone, stripe, starling, turnip, picture) and non-words or pseudo words (usk, bamph, stort, straip, blurst).

There will be forty words in total. The pass mark changes each year. Last year they needed to score 32 or more out of 40 to ‘pass’.

How will I find out the results of ‘The Check’?

If the results are known in time they will be in your child’s end of year report, if not a separate notification will be sent.

If your child does not pass, during year 2 they will continue to be supported through targeted interventions. They then re-sit the check with Year 1.

How can I help my child at home?

  • Homework - Please spend time learning spellings, reading and practicing the sounds.
  • When reading with your child encourage them to work out words they do not know by using their sound knowledge to blend words together.
  • If for example the word has an alternative pronunciation e.g. fin - find ask them to read to the end of the sentence to see if they can work out the word.
  • Try not to blend and segment for them.

Don’t forget…

Learning to read should be fun for both children and parents.

Games to develop Phonic awareness

Phonics Play

Family Learning

ICT Games

BBC Bitesize

Top Marks