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Early Reading and Phonics

We believe that the ability to read and write is a vital skill for all children, paving the way for an enjoyable and successful school experience. This ability is within the reach of every child and research tell us that the most direct route to reading is through phonics. Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and write by blending and segmenting individual sounds. Every letter and different combinations of letters make particular sounds. Below is a useful link if parents are unsure how to pronounce certain sounds – remember do not add an ‘uh’ at the end of sounds!

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Phonics is the prime approach to reading and we ensure that high quality phonic lessons are taught daily through Early years and KS1. Within our phonics and reading lessons, children are taught the essential components of reading (phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension). By the end of Year 2, most children will have completed the Phonics scheme of learning and be ready to access the National Curriculum spelling programme. However, no child is left behind at Stopsley and for the small number that may require further teaching to support reading and writing, we continue to offer daily phonics lessons and intervention to. Our sessions are systematic and interactive. You may have heard your child (or their teacher) use particular words / terminology from the core understanding of phonics. Below is a quick explanation of these terms…

Key terms we use in our teaching:

Digraph – two letters make one sound (e.g. sh, ch, ai, ea, ou, ow).

Trigraph – three letters make one sound (e.g. igh, ear, air, ure).

Split digraph – two letters make one sound but the letters have been split apart by another letter.

Phoneme – a single unit of sound

Grapheme – a written letter, or group of letter that represent a sound.

Blend – to put or merge the sounds together to make a word (e.g. the sounds d-o-g are blended to the word ‘dog’.)

Segment – to break down the word into its individual sounds to spell (e.g cat can be split into the sounds c-a-t.).

Sound buttons – ways of visually isolating different sounds in a word. We use a dot under letters where one letter makes one sound and a line understand digraphs or trigraphs.


Our approach to phonics is through the scheme ‘Supersonic Phonics Friends’. This programme is a fully systematic, synthetic phonic approach ranging from the simple to the complex spelling of the alphabetical code. It is a programme designed to stimulate and challenge children’s thinking and create enthusiastic, life-long readers and writers. Supported by their ‘Supersonic Phonic Friends’, this approach will ensure our children at Stopsley develop confidence and apply each skill to their own reading and writing.

Some benefits of our ‘Supersonic Phonics Friends’ approach include:

  • Active engagement at all times ensuring every session is maximised, making every minute count
  • Fun and physical; indoors and outdoors and so much more
  • ‘Supersonic Phonic Friends’ fully meets the DFE’s essential core criteria ensuring commitment, consistency and creative quality first teaching of phonics across all key stages

If you are interested to learn more about our scheme (approach) ‘Supersonic Phonic Friends’, please visit their YouTube channel.  Supersonic Phonic Friends 

We have also created a video showing the actions and sounds for Phases 2&3 which your children will be learning. 

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