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What is phonics?


At Marsh Green we teach your children phonics. Our approach to learning phonics in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 is through using Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics.
Letters and Sounds provides us with games and resources to support our teaching of phonics. It aims to build pupils’ speaking and listening skills, as well as prepare pupils to learn to read, by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed programme for teaching phonic skills, with the aim of pupils becoming fluent readers by age seven.

What is the Phonics Screening check?


The national phonics screening check was introduced in 2012 to all Year 1 pupils. It is a short, statutory assessment to ensure that children are making sufficient progress in the phonics skills to read words and are on track to become fluent readers who can enjoy reading for pleasure and for learning.


The Screening will take place the week of the 13th June 2016.

How is the check structured?


The check consists of a list of 40 words, half real words and half nonsense words, the nonsense words will be shown to your child with a picture of an alien. This not only makes the check a bit more fun, but provides the children with a context for the nonsense word which is independent from any existing vocabulary they may have.

Example of the check

Why are nonsense words included in the screening check?


Nonsense words are an established assessment method of many schools, and are included in many phonics programmes. They are included because they will be new to all pupils, so there won’t be a bias to those with a good vocabulary knowledge or visual memory of words. This is a test of a child’s ability to decode using phonics. Children who can read non-words should have the skills to decode almost any unfamiliar word.

Why is it important?


We want all children to be fluent and passionate readers and therefore go on to achieve their full potential. 


“Reading is important, because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything.”  

    Tomie dePaola


What we can do to help your child

Daily whole class phonic lessons
Targetted small group daily phonics sessions with Mrs Withrington
Targetted small group sessions with the class teacher
Setting weekly phonics homework



What you can do to help your child

Complete weekly phonics homework
Play phonic games
Visit the library
Download and play phonic apps
Do some phonics every day!

What shall I do if my child is struggling to decode?


Say each sound in the word from left to right.
Blend the sounds by pointing to each letter, i.e. /b/ in bat, or letter group, i.e. /igh/ in sigh, as you say the sound, then run your finger under the whole word as you say it.
Talk about the meaning if your child does not understand the word they have read.
Work at your child’s pace and have FUN!

What happens after the screening check?


The check is not about passing or failing but checking appropriate progress is being made
If children do not reach the required standard, then we will be in touch to discuss plans and offer additional, tailored support to ensure that your child improves their reading skills
Children progress at different speeds so not reaching the threshold score does not necessarily mean there is a serious problem. Your child will re-sit the check the following summer term

If you would like to purchase any phonic apps these are good!