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At BWI Primary School we believe that teaching phonics in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex sounds – is the most effective way of teaching young children to read and write.

We teach phonics using Twinkl Phonics. This whole-school programme provides a structured approach to learning; it is perfect for helping children progress from simple sounds to developing more complex and vital knowledge and skills required for reading. Developed by experts, Twinkl Phonics helps children prepare for the statutory Year 1 Phonics Screening Check. Everything is made by teachers for teachers, to ensure the content is trustworthy, reliable and genuinely useful. Approved by the Department for Education, the whole-school programme is an invaluable, steadfast, confidence-boosting companion loved by children, teachers, TAs and education leaders up and down the UK.

How will children be taught phonics?

Twinkl Phonics grounds it’s learning in stories; following the exciting adventures of Kit, Sam and the Twinkl Phonics family, children will build up their phonics skills and everything they need to read and write.

Children begin with identifying their first sounds (phonemes) and written representations of these sounds (graphemes) and finish year 2 with reading and writing skills that cover national curriculum statutory requirements. This scheme takes children from being new readers to being confident, skilled and enthusiastic readers and writers.

Our multisensory approach includes:

  • engaging stories and activities focused on developing and applying reading and writing skills;
  • physically active phonics activities to keep learning exciting and energising;
  • mnemonics, actions, handwriting formation rhymes and songs to reinforce sound and letter recognition.

What is taught and when?

There are six levels, spanning from the start of nursery to year 2 and beyond.

Phonics Screening Check

In June, all year 1 children are expected to complete the year 1 Phonics Screening Check. The aim is to check that a child is making progress in phonics. They are expected to read a mixture of real words and ‘nonsense’ words. (Nonsense words can also be referred to as ‘pseudo’ or ‘alien’ words.) Twinkl Phonics provides fun games, sample test packs and assessment trackers to help guide pupils and teachers through this process. If a child has not reached the expected standard, schools must give additional support to help the child to make progress in year 2. Children who have not passed the check in year 1 will have the opportunity to retake it in year 2. After year 2, children who need additional support can get this through targeted support and intervention. Please speak to a member of staff if you would like more information about the check or more support with your child’s phonics.

How can you support at home?

Work on listening skills, taking turns and encouraging your child to look at you when you are speaking.

Practise breaking words up into sounds and then blending those sounds together to make a word, e.g. fish, f-i-sh, fish.

Look for familiar sounds and words in the world around you. In the supermarket, can your child find letters they recognise on your shopping list and sound them out? Can they recognise letters on street names or on car number plates?

Practise the new sounds your child is learning using the Parent Information Sheets provided by their teacher. Remember to use ‘pure’ sounds when pronouncing the sounds and model the correct letter formation as it is taught in school.

Support your child to complete any homework they bring home.

Read to and/or with your child every day.

Finally, remember to ask your child’s class teacher if you are unsure about any aspect of your child’s phonics learning. A consistent approach is very important.

Have fun!

Additional parent information