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Our Lady and St Rose of Lima
Catholic Primary School & Nursery

Learning, Living, Loving Together in Christ

Bug Club Phonics Scheme

How do we teach phonics at Our Lady and St Rose of Lima?


Children at our school are exposed to Phonics from Nursery where they learn Phase 1 Phonics through a range of fun and interactive activities from our whole school scheme. Our Bug Club Phonics scheme for Nursery children covers all aspects of Phase 1 including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body percussion, rhythm and rhyme, initial sounds and alliteration, voice sounds and oral blending and segmenting. A range of resources and activities are used such as games and visual aids to support children with their Phase 1 Phonics understanding and learning.


Moving into Reception and into KS1, the children are taught synthetic phonics through Bug Club Phonics, a comprehensive teaching programme and DFE approved systematic synthetic phonics scheme. The scheme follows a proven progression and has helped our children to make significant progress in Phonics and Early Reading at St Rose of Lima School. As well as helping children academically, we believe the lesson progression and books in our scheme also increase positive attitudes to reading for our children and enjoyment of reading right at the beginning of their reading journey.

Bug Club Phonics Teaching Approach

The Bug Club Phonics programme follows the teaching sequence of letters and sounds and lessons are structured in the same way each day with an introduction, revisit, teach, practise and apply element to every session, providing the children with consistent routines that they can become familiar with. The scheme  follows a programme where children are taught the phonemes (smallest unit of sound) and graphemes (number of letters that represent a sound in a word) through a series of phases. 


Each phonics lesson reviews previous sounds taught and then introduces a new sound with an action video to help children remember and retain the phoneme. The children learn how this is used in a variety of words, are taught how to segment the sounds and then blend them to read a word and then apply this understanding to spelling words. Nonsense words (alien words) are also taught as part of the programme which helps ensure our children are ready for the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check.


Throughout the programme, teachers supplement the provided materials and embed the taught skills through a range of activities that they have identified to be successful. The programme is highly interactive and uses CBeebies videos, action for sounds videos, interactive games and captivating reading through online eBooks. This helps to secure essential phonic knowledge and skills as well as ensuring the lessons are fun, interactive and engaging.


Typically, Reception children will start at Phase 2 and move onto Phase 3 with most Year 1 children starting the year within Phase 4 and 5.  For those children in Year 2, their Phonics will continue through phase 5 and 6 where they will continue to review and learn new sounds while also focusing on their application of this through their spelling, reading and written work. Daily lessons include revision of the previously learnt sound, and also words that were read the day before providing consolidation. Children quickly move to reading captions and sentences and decodable readers are introduced at the beginning of their Phonics journey. Daily lessons are in short, discrete sections.


Phonics is taught in small groups within their classes where the children are grouped according to their phonic understanding. We find that this ensures children are taught according to their need and phonemic awareness. After each Phonics lesson, some children may then be identified to need additional one-one or small group support alongside these sessions. Where teachers’ assessments show that children need extensive support to catch-up, they are taught in smaller phonics groups targeted to their specific needs alongside extra intervention sessions and more frequent reading in the classroom.