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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 ‘decode’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.


At Corfe Castle CE Primary School we use the Government approved Letters and Sounds scheme for teaching Phonics. To support our teaching of Phonics we also use the Phonics Play website and Jolly Phonics.

Our reading schemes include: Collins Big Cat,  Songbirds Phonics written by Julia Donaldson, Oxford Reading Tree’s Traditional Tales Collection and Oxford Reading Tree’s Floppy’s Phonics- sounds and letters.


Year 1 Phonics Screening

In accordance with  Government guidelines all children in Year 1 will go through a Phonics screening.


What is the phonics screening check?

The phonics screening check is a quick and easy check of your child’s phonics knowledge. It helps your school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress.


How does the check work?

Your child will sit with a teacher he or she knows and be asked to read 40 words aloud.

Your child may have read some of the words before, while others will be completely new.

The check normally takes just a few minutes to complete and there is no time limit. If your child is struggling, the teacher will stop the check. The check is carefully designed not to be stressful for your child.