At Greatham CE Primary School we aim to ensure all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. We believe children can achieve this through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with daily opportunities for remembering fundamental reading skills.

The children develop their early reading through a sequenced series of daily lessons by introducing, reviewing, practising and applying new sounds which follows the systematic synthetic phonics programme, Active Learn Bug Club.

Children are provided with high quality teaching and reading books that help them decode successfully and confidently in order to become fluent readers.

All trained adults will support children to use their phonic knowledge in everyday life, to enrich their reading for both pleasure and information. To ensure children have the opportunity to practise and apply the phonics they have been taught at school, words are sent home alongside accurately matched phonetically decodable books as well as books allocated via the Bug Club e library.

For children at risk of falling behind, staff redeliver the sound in smaller groups and assess children’s knowledge, using Phonics Tracker to ensure support and challenge are appropriate.

Bug Club

Click on the bug to access the e-books.

Click here for a guide to the book bands

School Code: Iqt3

Click on the beetle to download our ‘Bug Club How to Guide’

We also have a fantastic library with a wide range of non-fiction books for children to choose from and borrow.

Phonics Screening Check

What is the phonics screening check?
The phonics screening check is a quick and easy check of your child’s phonics knowledge. It helps school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress.

How does the check work?

  • Your child will sit with a teacher he or she knows and be asked to read 40 words aloud.
  • Your child may have read some of the words before, while others will be completely new.
  • The check normally takes just a few minutes to complete and there is no time limit. If your child is struggling, the teacher will stop the check. The check is carefully designed not to be stressful for your child.

What are ‘non-words’?
The check will contain a mix of real words and ‘non-words’ (or ‘nonsense words’).
Your child will be told before the check that there will be non-words that he or she will not have seen before. Many children will be familiar with this because many schools already use ‘non-words’ when they teach phonics.
Non-words are important to include because words such as ‘vap’ or ‘jound’ are new to all children. Children cannot read the non-words by using their memory or vocabulary; they have to use their decoding skills. This is a fair way to assess their ability to decode.

Helping your child with phonics

Some simple steps to help your child learn to read through phonics:

  • Ask your child’s class teacher about the school’s approach to phonics and how you can reinforce this at home. For example, the teacher will be able to tell you which letters and sounds the class is covering in lessons each week.
  • You can then highlight these sounds when you read with your child.
  • Teaching how sounds match with letters is likely to start with individual letters such as ‘s’, ‘a’ and ‘t’ and then will move on to two-letter sounds such as ‘ee’, ‘ch’ and ‘ck’.
  • With all books, encourage your child to ‘sound out’ unfamiliar words and then blend the sounds together from left to right rather than looking at the pictures to guess. Once your child has read an unfamiliar word you can talk about what it means and help him or her to follow the story.
  • Your child’s teacher will also be able to suggest books with the right level of phonics for your child. These books are often called ‘decodable readers’ because the story is written with words made up of the letters your child has learnt. Your child will be able to work out new words from their letters and sounds, rather than just guessing.
  • Try to make time to read with your child every day. Grandparents and older brothers or sisters can help, too. Encourage your child to blend the sounds all the way through a word.
  • Word games like ‘I-spy’ can also be an enjoyable way of teaching children about sounds and letters. You can also encourage your child to read words from your shopping list or road signs to practise phonics.
  • We use ‘book bags’ and a reading record, which is a great way for teachers and parents to communicate about what children have read. The reading record can tell you whether your child has enjoyed a particular book and shows problems or successes he or she has had, either at home or at school

Please see the links below to videos to further help you support your child at home with phonics.

How to pronounce sounds

How to blend sounds to read words