What is Phonics?

At St Stephen's we teach phonics daily using the Phonics Bug scheme throughout the EYFS and KS1.
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read quickly and skilfully.
We teach children the letter name and sound and then begin to teach children how to blend sounds to read and segment to spell them.


A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a word.

A grapheme is the letter or letters representing a phoneme.

A digraph is two letters that make one sound.

A trigraph is three letters that make one sound.

A split digraph is when the two letters making the sound are not adjacent.

Blending is recognising the letter sounds in a written word and merging them in order in which they are written to pronounce

Segmenting is identifying the individual sounds in a spoken word and writing down letters for each sound to form the word


Home Reading Books

Children will be sent home with reading books which have been carefully matched to the phonics phase your child is on to help them practice letters learnt in class.

What is the phonics screening check?

Children in Year 1 throughout the country will all be taking part in a phonics screening check during the same week in June. This will commence week beginning 8th June 2020.
Children in Year 2 will also take the check if they did not achieve the required result when in Year 1 or if they have not taken the test before.

 Phonics Bug Active Learn

Each child in Reception to Year 2 have access to an online account for Phonics Bug Active Learn. Each child has a personalised homepage where they'll find the eBooks they've been allocated by the teacher and motivating rewards. The online reading world ensures children can access independent reading resources anywhere at any time.

Your child's class teacher will give your child a log in at the beginning of the academic year. You can log in on the following link - 


Supporting your child at home

There are a number of things that parents can do to support phonics and early reading development:

Make time for your child to read their school book to you
With all books, encourage your child to ‘sound out’ unfamiliar words and then blend from left to right rather than looking at pictures to guess
Immerse your child in a love of reading by promoting

Games and online resources

There are many phonic games for children to access on the computer (lead to an external side to which we have no control of content): 

Files to Download

Aspire to Greatness