We believe that the teaching of phonics is fundamental to the development of early reading. At Knypersley First School phonics is taught in a systematic way. It is taught through highly structured daily lessons across EYFS and KS1, with many opportunities throughout the day to practise and embed phonic skills. At Knypersley we provide a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. We follow our own progressive programme which is supplemented by a wide range of activities from other schemes including Letters & Sounds and Jolly Phonics. Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practise together and apply what they have learned.

What is Phonics?

“Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes and identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make. Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.” DFE ‘Information for Parents’ 20131

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skillfully. 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

Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of individual letters and how those letters sound when they’re combined will help children ‘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.

Teaching of Phonics at Knypersley

We ensure that children progress in their phonic knowledge through:

  • Daily phonic sessions
  • Phonics being promoted as a tool to help children decode words to read and spell
  • Children being encouraged to use and apply their phonic knowledge in independent work,
    guided writing sessions and individual or group reading where appropriate
  • Regular assessments which are then used to inform planning and cover gaps
  • Clear, high expectations and time scales are set within our progression of phonics - interventions are put into place for those children not meeting the set milestones
  • Reading books support and are closely matched to each child's phonological awareness and level of developmen


Children’s progress is continually reviewed to ensure that children stay on track to meet the milestone expectations in phonics. Children are formally assessed at the end of each half term.

The national Phonics screening check is performed in June of Year 1. Prior to this, the Year 1 phonics workshop gives parents information about how they can support their children at home with phonics. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. The children who do not meet the required standard for the check in year 1 enter again in year 2. As children enter KS2, provision is made for those children still requiring daily phonics.

So, you now know there  is Year 1 Phonics Screening Check, but what is it? How is it scored? And, perhaps most importantly, how can we as parents/carers help our children prepare for it?