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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 the letter sounds and names through the use of Jolly Phonics.  This is a fun and exciting way to ensure that our children move into reception with a good knowledge of the letters of the alphabet.


Moving into Reception and into KS1, the children are taught synthetic phonics through Phonics Bug.  This follows the Letters and Sounds 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.  This programme is highly interactive and uses CBeebies videos, interactive games and captivating reading through eBooks.


Phonics is taught in small groups where the children are grouped according to their phonic understanding.  Typically, Reception children will start at Phase 2 with most Year 1 children starting the year within phase 3.  For those children in Year 2, their phonics will continue through phase 5 and 6 where the focus is more on their application of this through their reading and written work.


Each phonics lesson reviews previous sounds taught and then introduces a new sound.  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.


In conjunction with the phonics programme, each child has a reading diary which includes all of the phonemes to help assist reading at home.


Useful links for parents

Reading at home is crucial to any child but understanding how to ask a child to ‘sound’ out a word can be tricky for parents.  Whilst we use the Phonics Bug programme in school, we would highly recommend the following website for parents to assist them at home:


Mr Thorne does phonics: