Phonics at Wilsden Primary School


Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:


  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
  • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘ch’ or ‘ee’; and
  • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.


Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read

Phonics is taught in a structured way following the DFE’s ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme of study. Starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex this is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7. At Wilsden we teach daily discrete phonics lessons which are engaging, interactive and fun. We use a combination of practical games, flash cards, songs and Interactive White Board resources to teach each phase

Each year in June, pupils in Year 1 will have a phonics screening check. This is a government assessment to check whether individual children are able to decode words using their knowledge of sounds. The check involves the children reading a set of 40 words to their teacher. Some of the words are real words and some are non-words or ‘alien’ words. All the words feature combinations of graphemes that the children have been learning and the check assess whether the child can use their sounds to decode. Any Year 1 pupils who do not achieve the pass mark will take the check in Year 2.

As part of our daily phonics sessions we ensure the children have a chance to read real and ‘alien’ words so they are well prepared and confident in taking the screening check in June.