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Phonics and Reading at Escrick

How to help your child with spellings document


At Escrick C of E Primary School, we recognise reading as a key life skill and this underpins access to the rest of the curriculum. We aim for children to read words and simple sentences by the end of Reception, become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1 and develop a lifelong love of reading as they move through school. The systematic teaching of synthetic phonics, using the Bug Club Phonics programme, is given a high priority throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1. Children need to learn key phonic knowledge and develop skills in segmenting and blending to complete the phonics check at the end of Year 1 and as part of developing fluency in reading. We also value and encourage pupils to read for enjoyment and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills – enjoying success and gaining confidence from a positive experience.

By the end of Reception, the aim is for all children to have a secure understanding of Phases 2 and 3 in the Phonics programme and to be able to segment and blend words within these phases, in terms of reading and blending words with graphemes learnt from Phase 3, in order to start Phase 4 at the start of the Autumn term in Year 1. Children are introduced to the ‘tricky words’ early in the Autumn term in Reception and aim to read and write the high frequency words for Phase 2 to 3 before they enter Year 1.

The aim in Year 1 is to ensure all children have completed Phase 4 and 5 and be ready to begin Phase 6 upon entry into Year 2 if possible.


Through the teaching of phonics following the Bug Club Phonics programme, the children are taught the essential skills needed for reading. Phonics is taught daily to all children in Reception and KS1. Phonics teaching is systematic, engaging, lively and interactive. Each phonics lesson includes the following elements:

• Revise – overlearn the previous graphemes and words

• Teach – introduce a new grapheme/words

• Practise – develop GPCs (grapheme phoneme correspondences)/read and spell new words

• Apply – use new graphemes/words in games and activities to secure knowledge

• Assess – monitor progress within each phase to inform planning Extra support is provided to those in Year 2 (and in Year 3 where appropriate) who have not passed phonics screening in Year 1 and interventions are planned for those children who are working below expected levels using the Rapid Phonics catch up interventions. Staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them.

In Reception, Phonics is taught through daily whole class teaching input and small group activities. Staff ensure Phonics is an integrated part of all learning in Reception, making links across the Early Years Curriculum as children explore the environment. In Year 1 and Year 2 phonics is taught though a whole class teaching input, then differentiated activities for groups linked to the graphemes learning. Targeted intervention through KS1 for the teaching of phonics is organised into small groups, outside of the phonics lesson, depending on children’s prior phonics knowledge, and looking at where individuals need challenge or support. Where extra intervention is necessary, this is provided for children throughout Key Stage 1 and 2. Pupils have regular reading sessions with an adult to ensure they are regularly practising and applying their phonics knowledge. This includes extra one-to-one reading for those children who are most vulnerable to enable them to catch up to meet age related expectations. In the EYFS the continuous provision matches children’s current knowledge and understanding whilst ensuring the children are suitably challenged. Teachers regularly assess children’s phonics knowledge using the phonics assessment grid and an online phonics tracking system. These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps in learning. Children have phonically decodable reading books matched to their phonics knowledge which they are encouraged to read regularly at home to ensure fluency in reading is developed. Books are chosen from our reading books in school.


As a result of high-quality phonics provision, children make good progress from their starting points. The vast majority are ready for the next stage in their education as they transfer through Early Years, Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2. Many children accelerate progress during these years from baseline below ARE to meeting expectations in phonics, reading and writing. Children enjoy listening to adults read and develop a love of reading, gaining satisfaction from their growing success in developing independence and fluency. At Escrick C of E Primary School, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our phonics and reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments and can be seen in success across the curriculum as children progress through school.

Phonic teaching is a vital part of English. At Escrick C of E Primary School, we aim to teach children fluent word reading skills and provide a good foundation in spelling from the earliest opportunity.


Phonics teaching involves showing children the sounds of letters (not the letter names) and how these sounds can be blended together to make words. For example, the word 'cat' is a decodable word because the letter sounds can be blended together.

c - a - t = cat


At Escrick C of E Primary School (currently) we teach Phonics using a government approved scheme called Phonics Bug.This is organised into six Phonic phases which our children progresses. Phases 1-4 and usually taught in Reception, Phase 5 in Year 1 and Phase 6 in Year 2 however this can fluctuate depending on progress and teachers adapt accordingly.

Phonics Games to Play at Home