Hertford St Andrew CE Primary School

Love Learning. Aim High. Trust God.


Lead Teacher –  Mrs Terris


What is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. Children 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 words.


How is phonics taught at Hertford St Andrew?

All phonics in EYFS and KS1 is taught following the Letters and Sounds document.  We have adopted the suggested daily teaching sequence set out in ‘Letters and Sounds’; Introduction, Revisit and Review, Teach, Practise, Apply and Assess. From Reception to Year Two children are taught in their classes with additional phonic interventions for those children needing further support. Children in Key Stage 2 requiring further phonics support are taught in small, daily intervention groups. 


Teaching is multi-sensory, encompassing simultaneous visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities to enliven core learning. Phonics is taught in short, briskly paced sessions and then applied to reading and writing. All activities are well matched to the children’s abilities and interests, and all classroom environments have an age appropriate display concentrating on both sounds and key words. At Hertford St Andrew we provide opportunities to reinforce and apply acquired phonic knowledge and skills across the curriculum and in such activities as shared and guided reading and writing.


Phonics Screening Check

Year 1 children will take part in a Phonics Screening Check in June. The check is designed to confirm whether children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. It will identify those children who need extra help to improve their decoding skills. The check consists of 20 real words and 20 pseudo-words that a pupil reads aloud to the teacher. Results will be reported to parents.