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Cherry Tree Hill Primary School

Cherry Tree Hill Primary School

Be Safe, Be Caring, Be a Learner

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This year we will be teaching phonics using Supersonic Phonic Friends.  This programme is a fully systematic phonic approach created by Phonics' expert, Anna Lucas and beautifully designed by artist, Fiona Cameron.


The programme begins with Firm Foundations in Phonics 1 which is aligned to Phase 1 from Letters and Sounds and will be used in our Nursery. 


In Reception and Year 1, Phonics is taught daily. In the Summer term, Year 1 children complete a statutory Phonics Screening Assessment. Children who do not meet the expected standard at the end of Year 1, continue to join in Phonics lessons in Year 2.


During Phonics lessons, children have the opportunity to apply taught sounds through group games, reading and writing activities. Children are encouraged to use sound buttons to show their understanding of phoneme-grapheme correspondence.


To find out more, click on the link below to explore their website and see the attached Supersonic Phonic Friends progression document:






Phonics is an important tool to develop reading fluency. Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.

Phonics teaches pupils that letters they see written on a page are part of a code which represents the sounds of spoken language, and provides them with the tools to understand that code. With these skills they develop into fluent readers, who are able to quickly recognise familiar words and to easily sound out new words they encounter.

Phonics allows young readers to develop their reading comprehension. With practice, pupils' decoding skills become so automatic that they are able to concentrate on and easily understand the overall meaning of what they are reading.


Phonics also raises children's phonemic awareness. This is the ability to understand how words are formed, and to break them down into individual sounds. For example, if a teacher asks "What are the sounds in the word ball?" pupils will answer "b" "aw" and "l". This helps them not only with reading but also with spelling and writing.

Understanding phonics will also help children know which letters to use when they are writing words. Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of individual letters and how those letters sound when they’re combined will help children decode words as they read.


Phonics involves matching the sounds of spoken English with individual letters or groups of letters. For example, the sound /k/ can be spelled as c, k, ck or ch.

Teaching children to blend the sounds of letters together helps them decode unfamiliar or unknown words by sounding them out. For example, when a child is taught the sounds for the letters tpa and s, they can start to build up the words: “tap”, “taps”, “pat”, “pats” and “sat”.


Have a look at this YouTube video which shows you how to pronounce each of the pure sounds:

Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl



If you’re a parent of a child in Year 1 at school, you may be aware that during this academic year your child will have their ‘Phonics Screening Check’. But what exactly is this assessment? When will it happen? And most importantly, how can you help prepare your child for it?


The Phonics Screening Check is an assessment to check a child’s ability to read words using phonics rules. This is the school’s first formal way of checking your child’s phonics progress and helps the school show the overall progress of children in Year 1. It also helps highlight if any extra support needs to be given. The test is for all children who are in Year 1 at school and takes place during the summer term, usually in June.


Do all Year 1 children have to do the Phonics Screening Check?


The Phonics Screening Check is part of the National Curriculum Assessment Programme and is a compulsory assessment for all children in England. Although compulsory, there may be some exceptions. For example, some children with English as an additional language and/or children who have shown no understanding of grapheme phoneme correspondences, may not have to do the assessment. Please ask your child’s teacher for guidance on this if you are unsure.



Read with your child each night

Schools often provide children with ‘reading books’ to read each evening with their parents/carers. We firmly believe that listening to your child read every evening is the best way you can prepare them for their Phonics Screening Check. Reading at home allows your child to practise decoding words in a natural and relaxed environment.


Practise reading out and about

Reading practise doesn’t have to just be restricted to their school reading book. There are words all around us! Try gently pointing out words on signs, magazines, TV programmes, shops etc and help them practise decoding these words too.


Read new books

Choosing new books together can be a great way of finding new words that they might not have read before. This provides a good opportunity for children to practise applying the phonics rules to decode the words correctly. This might be particularly helpful for when they are reading the made up words in the Phonics Screening Check.


Phonics Games

Phonics can be enjoyable! Show them how they can have fun with phonics, try playing our online phonics games to practise their phonics skills regularly. Have a look at the useful links below for some good games to play with your child. A lot of these games can be downloaded as apps onto a tablet.


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Cherry Tree Hill Primary School

Cherry Tree Hill Primary School

‘ Be Safe, Be Caring, Be a Learner ‘

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