Quick Links

Quick Links

Belvidere Primary School

Little Bells

Phonics at Belvidere Primary

At Belvidere Primary School we teach phonics using the Twinkl phonics scheme, a Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme accredited by the Department for Education (DfE). 

Phonics begins in Little Bells nursery and is taught daily throughout EYFS and KS1 using songs, rhymes, actions and stories. Learning is further embedded through the progressive, decodable reading books that are sent home, and through our curriculum teaching.

What is Phonics?

Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching children the skills necessary to become independent readers and writers by breaking words down into units of sound called 'phonemes'. These phonemes are associated with individual letters or groups of letters, which when written down are called 'graphemes'.

Children learn to read by 'blending' these phonemes together to build up a word. When learning how to write, they are taught to 'segment' the word (break it back down into the individual phonemes) in order to spell the sounds they can hear. 

Children learn to read more quickly than they learn to spell correctly. This is why their progress in reading must not be held back by whether or not they can spell accurately [...] The more graphemes children learn to read and write, the more words they will be able to read and spell, and, as they decode unfamiliar words, they encounter new vocabulary.

The Reading Framework: Teaching the foundations of literacy (DfE, 2022)

Our Phonics scheme ensures a consistent approach throughout the school, as all children learn the same rhymes and actions associated with each phoneme and children are continually building on their prior learning. The order that phonemes are taught is also prescribed to enable children to progress through each stage or phase logically and in a systematic way.

Synthetic phonics has been required method of teaching early reading and writing skills since 2006, based on educational research and data.  The  DFE approved scheme which the school is following is Twinkl.

What terminology might I need to know?

Phoneme

Smallest unit of sound in a word

Grapheme

Symbol of a phoneme, this could be one letter or a group of letters (e.g. i, igh, ie, i_e)

Grapheme-Phoneme Correspondences (GPCs)

The relationship between sounds and the letter or letters that represent that sound

Blending

Building up of words from individual phonemes for reading

Segmenting

Breaking down words into individual phonemes for writing

Tricky (Common Exception) Words

Words that are not decodable (can't be sounded-out) at the child's current phonic level of understanding

Digraph

Two letters that work together to make one sounds (e.g. ee)

Trigraph

Three letters that work together to make one sound (e.g. igh)

Mnemonic

An illustration that is designed to support children's recognition of GPCs