Phonics and reading scheme

Phonics and Reading Schemes at Pegswood Primary School

At Pegswood Primary School we follow the DfE accredited Bug Club Phonics to teach from. We use this to introduce reading and spelling phonetically regular words from Reception through to Year 2 (and subsequent years if individuals need it). In Nursery, children attune to sounds around them ready to begin oral blending (putting sounds together to make a word) and segmenting (separating sounds to help read a word) skills.

We have chosen to use the Bug Club Phonics programme to help children learn to read. The programme follows an approach of synthesising phonemes (see below), associated with graphemes a child sees; or put another way, learning to read by blending the sounds associated with the letters a child sees. The programme is the product of extensive research on the best way to teach children how to read.

The reading books children bring home are designed to support them in practising and consolidating the learning they have done at school. They also enable children to experience the pleasure and pride of reading their own books.

All the books in Bug Club Phonics have been finely-levelled to ensure that all children can read books at exactly the right level for them. What’s more, there are online versions for every printed title and a personalised website for each child.

What is phonics?

Phonics is one method of teaching children how to read and write. Phonics is all about sounds. There are 44 sounds in the English language, which we put together to form words.

Some are represented by one letter, like ‘t’, and some by two or more, like ‘ck’ in duck and ‘air’ in chair.

Children are taught the sounds first, then how to match them to letters, and finally how to use the letter sounds for reading and spelling.

Synthetic phonics refers to ‘synthesising’, or blending, the sounds to read words. It is based on the idea that children should sound out unknown words and not rely on their context.

● Phoneme - a sound in a language that has its own distinct sound. An example of a phoneme is "c" in the word "car,") Phonemes can be put together to make words.

Grapheme - A way of writing down a phoneme. Graphemes can be made up from 1 letter e.g. p, 2 letters e.g. sh, 3 letters e.g. tch or 4 letters e.g ough.

In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children have differentiated daily phonic lessons that follow the relevant Bug Club Phonics phases and progression. The children are grouped according to the phase they are working on across Reception, Year 1 and 2, to ensure activities are pitched at the correct level to allow them to make the best possible progress.

Our reading scheme consists of a wide range of texts and genres from different schemes. Bug Club books are used as well as those other schemes that reinforce the phonological work undertaken in the classroom. Other schemes such as Oxford Reading Tree, Floppy’s Phonics, Songbirds and Project X.  Reception and KS1 class teachers and teaching assistants will hear children read from these books during the week. All children receive an individualised online reading library, specifically chosen by the class teacher to meet their individual needs.

In Key Stage Two there continues to be emphasis on independent reading and guided group reading. Class teachers will provide books from a guided choice and will continue to hear children read individually when necessary, particularly where children still require regular support.

For those Key Stage two children still with phonological gaps in their understanding, a further scheme called Rapid Phonics, will be used. Rapid Phonics is built on the Sound Discovery method. Sound Discovery is a broad programme that looks in equal measure at teaching children to read, spell and write.