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Curriculum  »  English  »  Phonics

Hello I am Miss Emery, Phonics Leader at Whitkirk Primary. I am passionate about teaching children to read and write, which lead me to this role at Whitkirk. If you have any questions regarding your child learning to read please do not hesitate to contact me (Cubs Reception Teacher).

At Whitkirk we teach Phonics using letters and sounds ( DfE) and Jolly Phonics, in order to create an engaging, well structured approach to teaching your child to read and write.

Please see the following information, which explains the sounds children learn and which words you will find these sounds in, to support your child at home.  

Phonics sessions at Whitkirk

Children have Phonics daily. They will learn two new sounds a week, following the structure of; read the new sound one day, write the new sound the next. This format has been proven to help children learn and apply the sounds confidently within their reading and writing. The children partake in a 20 minute carpet session then explore the areas where they can engage in activities which help them learn the sounds in different ways, from driving the cars into the letter sound car park to cutting and sticking the sounds with the words!

 There are a number of strategies we use at Whitkirk during Phonics to support your child learning to read, which are as follows:

Teaching Strategies

Phoneme Fingers - These are used to teach the skill of blending phonemes. This should be done on your left hand to follow the direction of written text.

Blending Paintbrush - This is used to blend the graphemes in a written word. Once the initial skill has been taught, children can move on to using their finger as a paintbrush.

  Split Sounds - These should be taught consecutively as set out in the progression for Year 1.  When teaching these sounds, children should be taught that the ‘e’ gives all of its power to the appropriate vowel to make it say its name. The ‘e’ has no power left so can’t say its name.     

Choppy the Robot - This is used to chop up the graphemes in a word to allow children to segment to spell, for example, chopping ‘chin’ into ch-i-n to spell.

  Sound Buttons - Sound buttons can be drawn onto words with the children on the Interactive Whiteboard and they should be encouraged to do their own on their words. A dot should be drawn underneath a single phoneme and a line underneath a digraph or trigraph. A line should also be drawn underneath long single vowel sounds, for example, a in acorn


Learning to read at Whitkirk

Children at Whitkirk learn to read using a mixture of reading scheme books and real books. When children first begin to read, they may read individually to their class teachers. As they begin to progress they will be taught in a small group. Children partake in ‘Phonics Group’ activities daily where the children read in a small group to practice sounds and reading skills with their class teacher.

We use a mixture of books during phonics time including books from Oxford Reading Tree and Rigby Star, and good quality books by real authors. We only choose books of the highest quality to encourage the children to develop a love of reading.

How to support your child at home

School provide reading books daily to read with your child. Alongside this the following websites are very useful when supporting your child learning to read at home:




Jolly Phonics songs

Phonics Policy and Progression

At Whitkirk we follow Letters and Sounds as our phonics progression. This is planned out into weekly sounds along with the spelling work outlined in the National Curriculum. Please find the documents below;

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