Phonics and Reading

Every Year 1 child in the country will be taking the phonics screening check in the same week in June. The aim of the check is to ensure that all children are able to read by the end of year 2.

This ‘midpoint check’ will ensure that we have a clear understanding of what the children need to learn in year 2 and to identify children that need additional support.

Children will be given 40 words to read. 20 of the words are real words and 20 of them are non-words. The non-words or ‘nonsense’ words will have a picture of an alien next to them so children will know they are not real words.

Children will be asked to ‘sound out’ a word and blend the sounds together e.g. b-e-g =  beg     or    e-c-t = ect

The focus of the check is to see which sounds the children know and therefore the children will be asked to read made up ‘nonsense’ words.

Phonics is taught throughout the school to develop the children’s ability to decode words. This is done through stand alone sessions every day, based on a combination of the Jolly phonics scheme and Letters and Sounds. The children rehearse and practice skills, combined with opportunities to apply their phonic knowledge during reading. Children are regularly assessed to establish their level of phonic knowledge and are grouped accordingly so that they can access the structured system and build upon their current skill level

What you can do to help

Phonics at Home
There are many good websites and apps to help support phonic learning at home. Here are some:


Please take a look at our phonics presentation

At Lessness Heath Primary School we use book bands for guided reading.  This consists of eleven colour bandings, including some scheme books and some high ‘quality real’ books, that provide a progressive structure for guided reading books in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One.

In Key Stage Two we provide good quality texts by utilising the Core Books list from the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education.  This enables us to create a high quality library of books.