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Phonics and Early Reading

At Roselands Primary School we believe that the diligent, concentrated and systematic teaching of phonics is central to the development of early reading. We want all pupils to benefit from consistent phonics teaching methods and we use a systematic, synthetic approach to decoding words. At Roselands, we use the online Bug Club program for the explicit teaching of phonics and it’s linked books for the application of phonics in reading.



At Roselands we aim for all pupils to: 

  • access age-appropriate phonic phase daily sessions 
  • enjoy a multi-sensory approach to learning phonics ensuring that all sessions are active and cater for the needs of all children 
  • encourage all children to identify, segment and orally blend words 
  • use sound buttons to identify graphemes in words
  • be fully engaged in the discrete teaching phonic sessions and have regular access to high quality teaching
  • read fluently by securing both word recognition skills and automatic decoding skills that allow them to concentrate on the meaning of the text.
  • to pass the phonic screening check in Year 1 and to make at least expected progress from their starting point (if children pass their phonic screening they should achieve the expected standard in both reading and writing)
  • apply their phonic knowledge and skills to both their reading and writing


Progression in Phonics 

At Roselands we recognise that all children join the school from different starting points and are unique individuals. The following guidelines supports parents/carers and staff in recognising where most pupils are expected to achieve during the EYFS and Key Stage 1. 


  • Phase one (Nursery/Pre-school) - This phase is covered at Nursery or Pre-school, but can continue to be consolidated in EYFS . Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environment sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting. 
  • Phase Two (EYFS) Bug Club Phonics Sets 1-6 - In EYFS the children learn 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. As each set of letters is introduced, children will use their knowledge of the letter sounds to blend and sound out words. They will also start learning to segment words and to use the sounds to begin reading and writing simple captions. The children learn to recognise five tricky words that can’t be decoded by sight.
  • Phase Three (EYFS) Bug Club Phonics Sets 7-11 - The children learn 25 new graphemes in this phase. They learn the remaining 7 letters of the alphabet and 18 graphemes which are represented by digraphs and trigraphs. The children use these sounds when reading captions, sentences and questions. They also learn the letter names and learn to recognise 12 more tricky words by sight. They learn to spell the five tricky words from Phase Two.
  • Phase Four (EYFS) Bug Club Phonics Set 12 - In Phase 4, no new graphemes are introduced. The main aim of this phase is to consolidate the children's knowledge and to help them learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants. Children will continue to read two-syllable words and simple captions, as well as recognising 14 new tricky words that cannot be decoded. They will learn to spell the tricky words from Phase three.
  • Phase Five (Year One)  Bug Club Phonics Set 13- 27 - In Phase Five, children will learn alternative representations for learnt phonemes. Word and spelling knowledge will be worked on extensively. The children will learn to recognise nine new tricky words by sight and to spell the tricky words from Phase four.
  • Phase Six (Year 2)  Bug Club Phonics Set 28 -30 - At the start of Phase Six, children will have already learnt the most frequently occurring grapheme–phoneme correspondences in the English language. They will be able to read many familiar words automatically. In Phase Six the main aim is for children to become more fluent readers and more accurate spellers. During this phase when the children come across unfamiliar words they will be encouraged to decode them quickly and quietly using their well-developed sounding and blending skills. With more complex unfamiliar words they will continue to be encouraged to decode them by sounding them out. They will learn a variety of suffixes and prefixes, spelling rules and memory strategies such as analogy and mnemonics to develop their spelling skills.



Assessment in phonics takes the form of observation within phonics lesson and during activities involving reading and writing, which demonstrates the children’s application of their phonics knowledge. Where needed, identified children will be supported during daily intervention sessions outside of the daily lesson. In addition to this, there are more formal assessment checkpoints throughout the year. These assessments are recorded in a variety of ways and used to inform planning and intervention, as well as end of year judgements for each child in all areas of the EYFS or National Curriculum.   

EYFS assessment

At the end of the summer term, teachers provide attainment results to parents/carers, reporting their child’s progress and attainment against the Early Learning Goals or National Curriculum Age-Related Expectations. These final assessments at the end of the year are also used to inform the child’s next class teacher to highlight strengths and next steps for development. 

KS1 assessment

During Year 1, the children are prepared for the statutory phonics test in June. During February and  May the children are assessed to check progress and to inform future planning that will support them towards achieving the threshold score in June. In the summer term of Year 1 all pupils complete a phonics screening test to assess their skills in decoding real and nonsense words.  Parents are informed in their child’s end of year report whether they have met/not met the threshold.  Any pupils who have not met the threshold are supported during Year 2 and then re-screened in the summer term of Year 2. 



Due to developmental delay and learning difficulties, some pupils will need high levels of additional support to acquire phonological processing skills and will learn at a different rate to their peers.  For some specific learning difficulties, a phonic approach is not beneficial and a whole-word approach to reading and writing will be adopted. 


Parental involvement 

We recognise that parents/carers are children’s first and most enduring educators and we value the contribution they make. We recognise the role that parents/carers have played, and their future role, in educating the children. We do this through:  

  • Inviting all EYFS and KS1 parents to an open evening during the Autumn term to explain the different phonics phases and to guide them as they support their child in their phonics learning. 
  • Providing a Parent’s guide to phonics which supports learning for all Phases 1 to 6.
  • Encouraging parents to talk to the child’s teacher if there are any concerns or for more information about how to support their child’s learning. 
  •  Having a formal meeting for parents in the Autumn and Spring terms at which the teacher and the parent discuss the child’s progress.  
  • Providing parents with a report on their child’s attainment and progress at the end of the school year in July.
  • Offering a range of activities that support the involvement of parents/carers.
  • Providing Bug Club activities to complete at home which supports the child’s learning in school.
  • Encouraging parents to use the videos on the school website to develop their own knowledge and confidence for supporting phonics, reading and writing at home.


Monitoring and review 

It is the responsibility of class teachers to follow the principles stated in this policy.  The Head of School, Senior Leadership Team and governors carry out monitoring of the teaching of phonics through observation and discussion as part of the whole school monitoring schedule.