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Hillside Infant School

Hillside Infant School

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Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.



Using the Twinkl Phonics Scheme we intend our pupils to be able to:

  • Recognise, say and write all phonemes within each phase
  • Recognise, say and write all Tricky and High Frequency Words within each phase
  • Use their phonic knowledge to blend and segment phonetically decodable words. 
  • Use their phonic knowledge to attempt to read and write more complex words. 
  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding, age and ability appropriate texts. 
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. 
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, using phonic knowledge.
  • Enjoy reading and read for pleasure.



We use a rigorous and systematic approach to teaching phonics using the Twinkl Phonics Scheme.  TheTwinkl Phonics Scheme is a validated systematic synthetic phonics programme.  


The teaching of phonics starts in Nursery at Level 1 and is developed throughout the school.  All year groups have daily phonics lessons that are taught in dynamic ability groups.  We have a cohesive and consistent approach to teaching Phonics, where daily sessions follow the same structure. Phonics learning is consolidated in all other lessons throughout the school day. 


Parents as partners:

Each year we deliver workshops to help support parents with phonics at home. Parents have access to phonics resources on our school website. The children have weekly phonics home learning that consolidates learning and extends knowledge and skills.


Below is an outline of the phases and when they are taught in our school.

Level 1 (Nursery)

In Level 1, the activities are split into seven aspects which include:

  • Environmental Sounds
  • Instrumental Sounds
  • Body Sounds
  • Rhythm and Rhyme
  • Alliteration
  • Voice Sounds
  • Oral Blending and Segmenting.

Level 2 (Reception)

In Level 2 The children learn 19 letters of the alphabet with one sound (phoneme) for each letter. The children begin to blend sounds together to make words and learn to segment words into separate sounds. The children also start to read simple captions.

Level 3 (Reception)

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet are taught, one sound (phoneme) for each letter. Graphemes such as sh, ng, oi, are taught as they represent the remaining phonemes which are not covered by single letters. The children read captions, sentences and questions.

Level 4 (Reception/Year 1)

There are no new phonemes or graphemes taught during this level. Children recap prior learning and learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants e.g. swim, clap


Level 5 (Year 1)

The children now move onto the 'complex code.' Children learn that there are more graphemes for phonemes (ways to write the sounds) and that there are different ways to pronounce the phonemes they have already learnt.


Level 6 (Year 2)

Level 6 has a clear focus on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters.  They also learn different spelling rules including apostrophes and homophones. 


The Phonics Screening Check.

The Phonics Screening Check is an assessment at the end of Year 1 to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonetic decoding to an appropriate standard. It enables schools to identify children who need additional help, so ensure they are given support to improve their reading skills. Children who do not 'pass' the check in Year 1 are able to retake it in Year 2.  It is a Statutory Requirement to carry out the screening check.


The check is a short, simple screening check which consists of a list of 40 words and pseudo words (non-words), which the child reads one-to-one with their class teacher.  The Phonics Screening Check takes place in June.