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Phonics at Townfield Primary School


''To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.''

-Victor Hugo

A Phonics-lesson-008

What is Phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.

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 words as they read.

Understanding phonics will also help children know which letters to use when they are writing words.

Phonics involves matching the sounds of spoken English with individual letters or groups of letters. For example, the sound k can be spelled as c, k, ck or ch.

Teaching children to blend the sounds of letters together helps them decode unfamiliar or unknown words by sounding them out. For example, when a child is taught the sounds for the letters t, p, a and s, they can start to build up the words: “tap”, “taps”, “pat”, “pats” and “sat”.

Phonics at Townfield Primary School

At Townfield, children in the Foundation Stage and in Key Stage One take part in phonics sessions everyday. 

The ability to read is within the reach of every child.  The most direct route to reading for the vast majority of children is through systematically taught, 'synthetic phonics'.  At Townfield Primary School we follow a 'phonics first' approach to reading, where children learn to decode (read) and encode (spell) printed words quickly and fluently by blending and segmenting letter sounds. Our teaching and learning follows the progression of 'Letters and Sounds', organised into 6 phases and enhanced for the expectation of the new National  Curriculum 2014

We support the children's application of phonics to their reading by using both Phonics Bug reading books and Oxford Reading Tree phonics readers in school and to send home, until children are able to read with fluency and apply their knowledge of all the letter/sound patterns taught.  Children who are just beginning to learn the letter/sound correspondences are learning at the same time to tell stories using books which do not have words to begin with.  This is crucial in the development of spoken language and vocabulary. It is a necessary stepping stone towards becoming an accomplished reader and writer.

Information for Parents 

Below is a link to an excellent video which explains clearly and simply how to support your children in learning to read with phonics.  The website (parent section) has lots of advice in the form of video and animation and also you can access lots of free ebooks to help with reading at home!




This website can help to ensure you are helping your child to pronounce the phonemes correctly. Click Below:


This is a super and FREE game to support our phonics first approach to reading.







Overview of phonics progression from Phase 1 to Phase 6  and National Curriculum requirements for Year 1 and Year 2


See below for documents. 


phase 3(1)phase 55(1)

Activities and ideas on how to help your child at home. 

Below there are a series of links and activities for Phase 2 - Phase 5.

Please use the links to download the documents for the required phase and print the activities as many times as you like.

F2 children should use phase 2, 3 and 4 documents.

Year 1 children should use phase 3,4 and 5 documents. 


Phase 2 

Phase 3

Phonics Screening Check

Each year, all children in Year 1, in all schools, must take the phonics screening check.  Some children in Year 2 are also required to take the screening check either because they did not take it in Year 1 or because their Year 1 score did not meet the required standard.

The check usually happens in June each year. 

The check will be kept as low key and comfortable as possible for the children and will provide important information about their early reading development. 

We hold a meeting to explain the basics of the screening check before it happens so please look out for the date. At the meeting we will show you examples of the kinds of words your child will need to read and give examples of how you can support your child at home before the screening takes place.

 For more information the following link will take you to a website which explains things in more detail:



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