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What is Phonics?

At St Stephen's we teach phonics daily using Letters and Sounds 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.

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way, starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to more complex sounds, it is the most effective way of teaching children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 37.



Children are taught to read by breaking down words into separate sounds or ‘phonemes’. They are then taught how to blend these sounds together to read the whole word. Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go onto read any kind of text fluently, confidently and for enjoyment.


Phonics screening check

The National phonics screening check is a statutory assessment that was introduced in 2012 to all Year 1 pupils and is a quick and easy check of your child’s phonics knowledge. All Year 1 pupils will take the phonics screening check in Summer Term 2019.


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

  • 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):