Phonics and reading scheme
Phonics and Reading Schemes at St. Just Primary School
At St Just Primary School we follow the DfE accredited Bug Club Phonics programme. We use this to introduce reading and spelling ‘phonetically regular’ words from Reception through to Year 2 (and subsequent years if individuals need it).
We have chosen to use the Bug Club Phonics programme to help children learn to read. The programme follows an approach of synthesising phonemes (see below), associated with graphemes a child sees; or put another way, learning to read by blending the sounds associated with the letters a child sees. The programme is the product of extensive research on the best way to teach children how to read.
The reading books children take home are designed to support them in practising and consolidating the learning they have done at school. They also enable children to experience the pleasure and pride of reading their own books.
All the books in Bug Club Phonics have been finely-levelled to ensure that all children can read books at exactly the right level for them. What’s more, the books can be accessed on a personalised website for each child.
What is phonics?
Phonics is one method of teaching children how to read and write. Phonics is all about sounds. There are 44 sounds in the English language, which we put together to form words.
Some are represented by one letter, like ‘t’, and some by two or more, like ‘ck’ in duck and ‘air’ in chair.
Children are taught the sounds first, then how to match them to letters, and finally how to use the letter sounds for reading and spelling.
Synthetic phonics refers to ‘synthesising’, or blending, the sounds to read words. It is based on the idea that children should sound out unknown words and not rely on their context.
● Phoneme - a sound in a language that has its own distinct sound. An example of a phoneme is "c" in the word "car,") Phonemes can be put together to make words.
Grapheme - A way of writing down a phoneme. Graphemes can be made up from 1 letter e.g. p, 2 letters e.g. sh, 3 letters e.g. tch or 4 letters e.g ough.
How is the scheme implemented in school?
In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children have differentiated daily phonic lessons that follow the relevant Bug Club Phonics phases and progression. The children are grouped according to the phase they are working on to ensure activities are pitched at the correct level to allow them to make the best possible progress. Resources are provided by Phonics Bug and we also have access to other resources as and when needed.
Bug Club – Activelearn online
Our ‘learning to read’ Bug Club books are an extension of the Phonics Scheme. Each group of children will have a teacher led guided reading lesson every week, followed by three associated reading activities on other days. All children receive an individualised online reading library, Bug Club, specifically chosen by the class teacher to meet their individual needs. These books will be allocated after their guided reading lessons.
Reading Records – This book is to be completed by staff and parents when a child has read – both guided reading and additional books. It is a way to communicate their thoughts on the book, ask any questions they may have or share any difficulties they encountered. It is also a way to celebrate their achievements through positive feedback, stickers and stamps.