Phonics (Year 1)

What is 'phonics?'

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:

  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes
  • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’; and
  • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.

What is the 'phonics screening test?'

The phonics screening check is designed to confirm whether pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. It will identify pupils who need extra help to improve their decoding skills. The check consists of 20 real words and 20 pseudo (nonsense) words that a pupil reads aloud to the teacher.

Our children (and staff) have been working very hard together in order to learn to readthrough phonics and then apply this knowledge to our writing.  We understand how tricky it can be but are very proud of the children who work consistently hard in their approach to their learning of phonics. 

What can you do to help?

We carry out daily practise with the children in school.  It is our belief and understanding from research that this will allow them to retain the information and progress well in their learning.  We ask that parents and carers help keep the momentum going at home and continue this practise.  Even 10 minutes each night will make a big difference.

We appreciate that there may be some gaps in subject knowledge for phonics.  Before I became a teacher, I had no idea what phonics was!  Some of us may have been taught to read/write using a different approach. Keeping this in mind, we would like to provide some support to our children and families to access phonics and the correct pronounciations of the letters and sounds so that you are equipped to aid your child/children.

Please access the links below of phase 3 and phase 5 of our phonics letters and sounds.  (Excuse the tone of voice as I was rather poorly at the time I recorded myself!)  You can use the recordings which have been uploaded onto you tube so that you can:

  • watch and repeat the prononcuations with your child/children,
  • access it to use in conjunction with the sound mats provided over the half term break to help with revision or
  • an idea of your own.
Phase 3
Phase 5
If you need any further information please don't hesitate to contact your child's class teacher.


Contact the School

Woodlands Community Primary School

Hollybank Road, Birkenhead


CH41 2SY

Mrs B. Baker (Office Manager)

Tel: 0151 647 8406

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