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In Early Years and Year 1, phonics is taught on a daily basis.

What is phonics and why is it important?

Phonics is the word used to describe the sounds the letters make. In simple terms, the word ‘rat’ can be read from its three sounds: r-a-t.

These are not the names of the letters as we say them in the alphabet, but the sounds these letters make.  Likewise, the word ‘light’ is made up of three sounds: l-igh-t, where pairs or groups of letters combine to make a single sound.  Similarly, ‘rash’ is made up of three sounds: r-a-sh.

Former Ofsted Director, Jim Rose, has said that phonics – where children learn the sounds of all the letters and combinations of letters – should be taught “first and fast” to young children.

We teach phonics proactively and systematically to children from the age of about four by showing them the sounds of the letters (not the letter names) and how these sounds can be blended to run together to make short words.

We use a validated phonics programme called Little Wandle. Our early reading books reinforce and support our phonics learning. 

It is really important that you pronounce the sounds correctly at home if you are supporting your child. These videos are on the website for you to refer to and if you are unsure, please ask your child’s teacher.


Fun activities to help with phonics

The following are phonics websites where you may find useful information to help support your child’s learning:

Obviously, some children learn more quickly than others, so we still have some phonics groups in Year 2 and above. This is to ensure that all individual children are secure in their phonic knowledge.

Every year, parents in Acorns and Oaks are invited to an information session on phonics and handwriting.

Please see below the presentation given by Mrs Wade and Mrs Webb to parents on Tuesday 27th September 2022.



We follow the National Curriculum for spelling from Year 2 onwards. Spelling is taught every day for 20 minutes in all classes and is taught as a standalone subject as well as being integrated into literacy lessons. Activities are varied – both oral and written and children have a set of spellings to practice and learn each week. We practice spellings in many different ways, here are just a few...literacy-focus-spelling-strategies

We know that many children perform well in spelling tests but then struggle to apply this knowledge when writing at length as they have lots of other things to consider in the writing process. Therefore, we always allocate editing time within a literacy lesson, allowing children to check and correct any spelling errors. We also encourage the children to use dictionaries and when working on the computers to look carefully at the options provided by the spelling check.

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