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The Winchcombe School


KS1 Phonics


Phonics is the word used to describe the sounds the letters make. In simple terms, the word 'cat' can be read from its three sounds: c-a-t. These are not the names of the letters as we say them in the alphabet, but the sounds these letters make.

Likewise, the word 'thick' is made up of three sounds: th-i-ck, where pairs of letters combine to make a single sound. Similarly, 'rash' is made up of three sounds: r-a-sh.

Please note that a 'phoneme' is the sound of the letters and a 'grapheme' is what they look like written down.

At The Winchcombe School, pre-reading skills are taught using synthetic phonics and the school follows the government published programme ‘Letters and Sounds’, using some resources from the ‘Jolly Phonics’ programme. This provides us with a multi-sensory approach that accommodates all learning styles. The children are taught within the phase that is appropriate to their level of development. They are assessed on a regular basis and our flexible groups are sorted accordingly. The phonemes (sounds) are systematically taught before the children are shown how to blend them for reading and segmenting them for writing. Alongside this the children are taught the ’high frequency words’ (those words which do not entirely follow the phonic rules). Staff members receive regular training in the teaching of phonics which enables them to deliver interesting, interactive sessions that engage and motivate the children.

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

The statutory Year 1 Phonics Screening Check will take place usually during the third week of June. The check is a list of 40 words which children will read one -to-one with their class teacher. It will assess phonics skills and knowledge learned through Reception and Year 1.

It will check that your child can:

  • Sound out and blend graphemes in order to read simple words e.g. n-igh-t
  • Read phonically decodable one-syllable and two-syllable words, e.g. cat, sand, windmill.
  • Read a selection of nonsense words which are referred to as ‘pseudo words’.

For the Department for Education Parents and Carers Information on the Year One phonics screening check click here.

If your child does not pass in Year 1 they will be retested in Year 2.

Suggested Websites

Letters and Sounds

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Busy Things

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ICT Games

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Phonics Play

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Suggested Apps for iPad

There are a large number of apps available, both for free and at a small cost. On our school iPads we use:

  • Mr Thorne does Phonics (Starting at £1.49)
  • ABC Pocket Phonics (lite version is free. Full version £4.99)
  • Forest Phonics (£2.29)

Attached below are the Phonics Phases