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Primary Academy


Our phonics lead is Sarah Charidine

Phonic is taught at RPA in line with the National Curriculum. The information below outlines our aims, teaching and learning style and general expectations of the children.


Phonics at RPA

The Intent, Implementation and Impact of our Curriculum


At Rushden Primary Academy we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to support children in becoming fluent readers and writers. Through phonics children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read words. The teaching of phonics is of high priority.


 At Rushden Primary Academy we use the Department of Education approved scheme ‘Little Wandle letters and sounds’ for our teaching of phonics. This allows our phonics teaching and learning to be progressive from Reception through to Year 2 and beyond. In Reception there is a heavy focus on phase 1 which promotes and develops speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. Alongside phase 1, children are introduced to Phase 2 which marks the start of systematic phonics work. They have discrete, daily phonics sessions where they revise previous learning, are taught new graphemes/phonemes, practise together and apply what they have learnt. Through Little Wandle, the children are taught the 44 phonemes that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling. These phonemes include those made by just one letter and those that are made by two or more. Children work through the different phases and as they grow in confidence and experience, they are introduced to alternative ways of representing the same sound.


Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Children can then focus on developing fluency and comprehension throughout the school. Attainment in phonics is measured by termly assessments and the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year.

“If a child memorises ten words the child can only read ten words, but if the child learns the sound of ten letters they will be able to read 350 three sound words, 4320 four sound words and 21650 five sound words” - Martin Kozloff 2002 

At the beginning of the year, EYFS and Year 1 teachers will invite parents to attend a phonics workshop. This will provide parents with the opportunities to watch phonics lessons, gain a better understanding of the expectations as well as providing the opportunity to spend some time with their child enjoying some phonics activities in the classroom.

Phonics it taught daily by following the sequence below:

Revisit and review

Practice previously learned letters or graphemes​


Teach new graphemes​


Practice blending and reading words with new sound (sound buttons)

Practice segmenting and spelling words with new sound (sounding out on fingers)​


Read or write words, captions or sentences using new sounds​

As set out by the Department of Education, Year 1 pupils, and children from Year 2 who need to resit, complete a phonics screening check to assess the phonics knowledge of children across the country. The check takes place during the month of June. ​Pupils will sit with a teacher and be asked to read 40 words aloud, half of which are real words and half are pseudo words.​ Results will be shared with parents and published online.​

In Key Stage 2, those children who require further phonic support take part in small booster groups delivered by our trained teaching assistants. This is part of our phonics scheme as to remain consistent to the children's learning. 

Reading Books

We currently use the Big Cat Collins books. These are carefully matched to your child's phonic knowledge to support them in becoming fluent readers. 

Children will be allocated 1 of these books a week. Children will also bring home books to share with an adult. These are not for children to read independently. 

Online support

Please see the list of websites below which you may find useful in supporting your child with their phonics, or ask your child's class teacher if you would like further advice on how to support your child with phonics.

For guides relating to each book:

Practise making words with this game

Lots of information and guidance

A selection of interactive games for all phonic phases.

A great selection of games that link well with games in Letters and Sounds.

Letter names come up in alphabetical order

Activities for all phases

Phonic game with choice of difficulty (some HFWs, some vowel blends, very varied)


Phonics Glossary

blend (vb) — to draw individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. s-n-a-p, blended together, reads snap

cluster — two (or three) letters making two (or three) sounds, e.g. the first three letters of 'straight' are a consonant cluster

digraph — two letters making one sound, e.g. sh, ch, th, ph.

vowel digraphs comprise of two vowels which, together, make one sound, e.g. ai, oo, ow

split digraph — two letters, split, making one sound, e.g. a-e as in make or i-e in site

grapheme — a letter or a group of letters representing one sound, e.g. sh, ch, igh, ough (as in 'though')

grapheme-phoneme correspondence (GPC) — the relationship between sounds and the letters which represent those sounds; also known as 'letter-sound correspondences'

mnemonic — a device for memorising and recalling something, such as a snake shaped like the letter 'S'

phoneme — the smallest single identifiable sound, e.g. the letters 'sh' represent just one sound, but 'sp' represents two (/s/ and /p/)

segment (vb) — to split up a word into its individual phonemes in order to spell it, e.g. the word 'cat' has three phonemes: /c/, /a/, /t/

VC, CVC, CCVC — the abbreviations for vowel-consonant, consonant-vowel-consonant, consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant, which are used to describe the order of letters in words, e.g. am, ham, slam.


Useful Videos