At Great Coates Primary School the ‘Letters and Sound’ and ‘Thrass’ phonics programs are followed from Early Years Foundation Stage, through KS1 and into KS2 if required. The program focuses on developing skills in matching sounds to letters and groups of letters and securing word recognition skills, essential for children to decode (read) and encode (spell) words accurately and for reading comprehension. The programs are in six phases: phase one promotes speaking/listening skills, phonological awareness and oral blending/segmenting; phases two to five focus on high quality phonic work to help children develop fluent word reading and spelling skills and in phase six, the main aim, is for children to become more fluent readers and accurate spellers.

The children are taught phases two to five of Letters and Sounds through a 20 minute daily session of phonics that follows the following teaching sequence:

Phase six sessions include direct teaching of spelling strategies, proofreading and high-frequency words.  In addition, phonic skills are applied in reading and writing opportunities in literacy lessons as well as in other areas of the curriculum, with the use of the Thrass card to support their understanding.

In Summer Term 1, Year 1 children have to undertake the Year 1 Phonics Screening.  Working 1:1 with their teacher, children will read 40 words, some of which are real and some of which are pseudo (made up/’alien’) words containing the 40+ phonemes they have learned during their first two years in school.  The pass mark is usually around 32 and children who do not reach this standard will receive extra phonics support in Year 2 and resit the screening at the end of the following year.  The following link shows an example of a Y1 Phonics Screening Check.

Pronouncing phonemes (sounds) correctly is incredibly important for successful phonics learning. The following link shows how each of the phonemes should be pronounced:

How can you support your child at home with their phonics?

  1. Read as much as possible with your child at home
  2. Practise spellings with your child
  3. When writing, ask your child if they have remembered their phonics sounds (looking at the attached Thrass mat should help you to do this)
  4. Investigate some of the phonics links given below
  5. Ensure your child is on time for school each day as many classes teach phonics at 9am.

The following additional links may also be useful to you in helping your child to develop their phonics skills:

Here you will find lots of information for parents about phonics including: what exactly phonics is, how it is taught in UK schools and suggestions for helping pre-schoolers prepare for learning phonics. You will also find lots of games and ideas to explore with children at home

Oxford Owl is a free website built to support you with your child’s learning. You’ll find age-specific reading tips and activities, eBooks, and lots of fun ideas to really bring your child’s learning to life. You will also find support and advice on a range of questions you may have – including helping your child with their phonics, motivating boys to read and ensuring your child is doing their best in phonics.

The website below has lots of information, printable resources and games.

The link below is the Letters and Sounds document which we use to help support our phonics planning. It includes games, techniques and strategies to help children to learn phonics.