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Wellington Primary School

Phonics and Reading

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’;
  • 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.




A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a word. In the English language there are 44 phonemes.


A grapheme is a symbol of a phoneme. It is a letter or group of letters representing a sound.


Segmenting and blending

Segmenting consists of breaking words down into phonemes to spell. Blending consists of building words from phonemes to read.



This is when two letters come together to make a phoneme. For example, ‘oa’ makes the sound in ‘boat’. There are also digraphs, for example, ‘sh’ like in ship and ‘ch’ like in chop.


This is when three letters come together to make one phoneme, for example ‘igh’ like in light.

Split digraph

A digraph in which the two letters are not adjacent – e.g. make, cake, bone.


How is Phonics taught at Wellington?

Here at Wellington Primary School Phonics is taught daily in EYFS and KS1 and we use the Monster Phonics Scheme.

Monster Phonics is engaging, exciting and imaginative and most importantly it creates a love of learning which is something our school strives to achieve for every pupil. 


‘Meet the Monsters’


There are lots of free resources that you can access at home – please click on this link.


Click on your child’s year group to see the Monster Phonics progression map for the year –

Reception  - progression maps - reception (

Year 1 –  progression maps - reception (

Year 2 - progression maps - reception (


Phonics screening check in year 1



Children in Year 1 throughout the country will all be taking part in a phonics screening check during the same week in June. Children in Year 2 will also take the check if they did not achieve the required result when in Year 1 or they have not taken the test before.

What Happens During the Screening?

The test contains 40 words. Each child will sit one-to-one and read each word aloud to a teacher. The test will take approximately 10 minutes per child, although all children are different and will complete the check at their own pace. The list of words the children read is a combination of 20 real words and 20 pseudo words (nonsense/alien words).

By the end of the summer term we will report each child’s results to you. Children who do not achieve the expected level will retake the test when they are in Year 2.


How Can I Help My Child at Home with the screening check?

• Play lots of sound and listening games with your child.

 • Read as much as possible to and with your child.

• Encourage and praise your child

• If your child is struggling to decode a word, help them by encouraging them to say each sound in the word from left to right.

• Blend the sounds by pointing to each one, e.g. /c/ in cat, /p/ in pat, /ng/ in sing, /ee/ in been.

• Discuss the meaning of words if your child does not know what they have read.


Click here for the Reception Phonics Workshop for Parents PDF





At Wellington use a range of reading books to support the delivery of our reading curriculums such as; Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star, Project X and Collins Big Cat.


To support your child with reading home you can access the following online platforms:


What can my child read for pleasure and enjoyment at home?

Reading for pleasure is paramount to a child's development and motivation.



Click link to see a range of recommended book to take your child on an amazing reading adventure -




You could also become a member of your local library and regularly visit it to borrow new exciting books!




Look out for the monthly reading challenges in the pupil section of the website! There are prizes to be won!

What is this month's challenge?



Parent Workshops


Thank you for attending our phonic parental workshops.

Click here for the Workshop Resources for Parents PDF

Click here for Year 1 Phonics Workshops PDF