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What is phonics?

Phonics is a quick and skilful method used in primary schools in the UK today and is a vital part of English learning. It is a method that teaches children how sounds can be blended together to make words and at St.Thomas’ CE Primary School, our aim is to teach young children how to read words fluently and simultaneously provide them with a good underpinning of spelling rules. Research states that if phonics is taught in a structured and consistent way – it is currently the most efficient way of teaching children how to read. Throughout phonics you are taught how to:

  • recognise sounds that individual letters make, 
  • recognise that different sounds can be made by using different combinations of letters such as /ng/ or /th/ 
  • segmenting words into these sounds for example: th-i-ng.
  • blending these sounds together from left to right to read the word.


What scheme do we follow?

Here at St.Thomas’ CE Primary School we teach Phonics using the ‘Little Wandle'. This is a government validated synthetic phonic scheme.

Activity sheets to develop each of the phonic phases

In each phase, there is a collection of tricky words that do not follow the phonics approach and can only be taught by recognising the part of the word that is tricky and then learning to know them by sight.

Phonics Screening Check

The phonics screening check is carried out by teachers in the summer term of Year 1 and is a way to assess a child’s phonic skills that they have learnt through Reception and Year 1. The check is made up of 40 words, a mixture of nonsense words that can be decoded using their phonics and real words.

You can find more information at: