Our Learning – Phonics

I am Mrs Trevor. I have been the phonics lead at Ardley Hill since 2016. I am passionate about teaching young children to read. It is crucial children have a good start to their reading journey. At Ardely Hill we work together to work on areas of development and strive to improve. We are proud of our progress from 50% in 2015 to 95% in 2019 passing the phonics screening check in year 1. For advice or help please email me htrevor@ardleyhill.org.uk. Happy to help.


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go” Dr. Suess


What is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:

  • Recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
  • Identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’; and
  • Blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.



Why phonics?

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged five to seven.

Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment. Children will also become confident phonetic spellers. This will then lead into teaching the children different spelling rules to help develop more accurate spelling.

Phonics Screening Test

At the end of Year 1 children are assessed using the National Phonics Screening Test and this is repeated for those who did not achieve the appropriate level at the end of Year 2. This assessment gathers information on the children’s ability to blend and segment decodable words to read.

The children sit with the class teacher one to one in a relaxed environment and read 40 decodable words. If a child reads a word incorrectly, the teacher will just move onto the next word. Some words are real words and some are ‘alien’ words. Below is a sample of 2 test pages. The test is very child friendly and is a great assessment tool for teachers.


How can you help your children?



Thank you to all who attended the Phonics Information Evening.
Below is the booklet with phonics sounds, key words and a list of apps and websites.

Also below is the powerpoint presentation as a PDF that we used on the information night.

Phonics Presentation

Phonics Booklet

If you would like to find out more about phonics, visit the phonics section of the Department for Education Website (Click Here)

What do we use?





At Ardley Hill Academy we use “Letters and Sounds” to teach phonics and early reading. We are also starting to use Jolly Phonics songs to help the children learn the actions and sounds in an exciting and memorable way. Please share these at home with your children. They will get great joy showing you the actions they are beginning to learn at school.





Free resources and activities for parents and children can be found on Phonics Play

We often use these games in school and the children can show you what to do.


Other printable resources can be found on twinkl

Below are many resources that we highly recommend you download and use in your home when helping your children develop their phonetic skills.

What do we do?

At Ardley Hill we believe parental involvement makes a huge impact on the children’s love for reading. You begin the reading journey by communicating with your children, singing, sharing books and exploring sounds. Reading begins with listening.


In Caterpillars- The children explore phase 1 of Letters and Sounds. This builds on children’s ability to listen to sounds. We also expose children to letters that are familiar to them i.e. their name. We identify children who are ready to progress onto oral segmenting and blending of words.


In Butterflies- Children are still exploring sounds but some move onto phase 2 where they explore making words with a few letters they have learnt-SATPIN. All sessions are short, focused and of course fun! Children are split into groups and parents are informed on their development.


In Reception- Children have a daily phonics session with their class teacher. The children will be learning the phase 2,3and 4 content of letters and sounds. Again these sessions are fun and focused. Parents are invited in to watch phonics being taught and get involved with some games.


In Year 1 –Children start year 1 recapping phase 4 for a couple of weeks and then consolidating all previous learning. The children then move onto phase 5. We understand that children move at a different pace so we have carefully planned intervention groups with excellent, trained LSA’s. . We also have an extra streamed phonics session. Phonics is taught throughout the curriculum. We invite parents in to talk about their child’s progress and what we can do to ensure progress. The phonics screening check is in June of year 1.


In Year 2 – The children may or may not have passed. This information is carried to year 2 where we ensure the children are supported. We identify gaps and provide extra group work to support these children daily. Some children pass but may still need confidence building or help to apply their knowledge to their writing. All children are taught phase 6 which is a focus on spelling- prefix, suffix, spelling rules, compound words, past tense etc. The children who did not pass the check will get the chance to take it again in June.


After Year 2- Some children may still need support with their reading, writing and confidence in this area. Teachers communicate the children’s needs and parents are informed on progress. Children are supported differently in class depending on their needs.


Training and Resources

Please see the recent training and resources available to parents who are new to phonics, need a refresher or would like some tips on how to help guide your children with reading confidence for any age.

Phase 1 Alphabet Mat

Phase 2 Sound Mat

Phase 3 Sound Mat

Phase 4 Sound Mats

Phase 5 Sound Mat


Phonics Training







Handouts for Parents & Carers


100 High Frequency Words

More questions?

Please email
Happy to help


Sharing Stories with Babies Parent Information Sheet

Sharing Stories With 9-12s Parent Information leaflet

Sharing Stories With 5-8s Parent Information Leaflet

Share a Story Reading at Home KS2 leaflet

Share a Story Reading at Home KS1 Leaflet

Jolly Phonics Actions Sheet

New Approach Presentation

Reading at Ardley Hill Academy 2018


Phonics Tree