Approach to Teaching Phonics

Aims and objectives

An explicit, synthetic and systematic approach to the teaching of Phonics is important to ensure that children are successful, fluent readers and writers by the end of Key Stage One. At Ash Croft, we believe this is achievable through a combination of discrete phonics teaching lessons combined with regular, daily opportunities for developing reading skills.  The teaching of phonics is a key strategy that is used to help our children to read, write and spell and research suggests that phonics is particularly beneficial for younger learners (4-7 year olds) as they begin to read (EEF, 2018).


Teaching Approach

Read Write Inc. Phonics is used by over a quarter of the UK’s primary schools. It is a comprehensive literacy programme, weaving decoding, comprehension, writing and spelling together seamlessly. Ruth Miskin developed the programme during her time as a headteacher in Tower Hamlets. She believes that in order for a school to be successful, every headteacher needs to adopt a consistent whole-school approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling. Fidelity to the teaching programme, rigorous assessment, tracking and one-to-one tutoring ensure that schools guarantee progress for every child. For information and tutorials to read go to:


At Ash Croft Primary Academy we follow the RWI programme once the children are able to orally blend and segment. In order to ensure that the children have these vital skills first, we follow Phase one of Letters and Sounds. The Letters and Sounds resource was published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007 and aims to build children's speaking and listening skills as well, as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills through a detailed and systematic programme.


As children move into key stage two, phonics is taught to groups or individual children depending on their learning need. For some children Phonics may not be the right strategy for them to learn to read. For these children we use a strategy called 'Read it, Write it!' However, the vast majority of children will successfully learn to read using the Read Write Inc strategy.


What is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read by breaking up words into small chunks of sound.

For example we can break a simple word like ‘cat’ into the three sounds c-a-t.

To become successful readers children will learn the individual sounds for each letter or group of letters. Some sounds in English are made up of more than one letter like the sound ‘ea’ in tea or team.

Once children know the sounds they will be able to ‘decode’ unfamiliar words by breaking the word into sounds then read the word by blending back together. For example:

sh — o — p = shop

For an audio guide on how to pronounce the sounds click on one of the links below:

The Phonics Screening Check

All children in Year 1 do the Phonics Screening Check in June. Should children not make the standard in Year 1 they redo the Phonics Screening check in Year 2. Below are some useful resources to help your children read 'real' and 'nonsense' words. They need to be able to blend the sounds and read them aloud.

Files to Download

Ash Croft Primary Academy

Deepdale Lane, Sinfin, Derby DE24 3HF

Main Contact: Miss E Luff

SEN Contact: Mr C Mills

01332 764160