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Wyberton Primary Academy

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Wyberton Primary Academy


Let's start your child's journey into Reading and Writing...



In Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1, children receive daily phonics and, from Year 2 onwards for those children who are ready, SpellingShed is used. Research shows that systematic synthetic phonics is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. In phonics sessions 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; and
  • read some words that do not follow the rules of phonics - these are known as tricky words.


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 and spell. At Wyberton Primary Academy we use the Letterland scheme to guide the teaching of phonics in Nursery, Reception and Year 1. This then progresses into the SpellingShed scheme to promote a systematic approach to learning phonics and spelling from Year 2 to Year 6. New spelling rules and patterns are taught through this scheme, building on the children's early phonics learning.


In Year One, children take part in a phonics screening check. This check is designed to confirm whether pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. It will identify pupils 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.


Please use the link below to find more information about the Phonics Screening Check and to listen to the 44 sounds spoken aloud and in example words.

Phonics Help


When children have learned individual letter sounds, they blend – put them together – to form whole words, e.g. 'mmm-u-mmm' _ 'mum'.

Decodable words:
Words a reader can sound out, because he or she has been taught all the phonic sounds that occur in those particular words.

Two letters together that represent one sound e.g. 'ph', 'ch' (consonant digraphs) or 'ai', 'ea', 'oo', 'au' (vowel digraphs).

The ability to read a text quickly, accurately, and with proper expression and understanding.

High frequency words:
Common words that occur most frequently in writing, e.g. and, the, as, it. Children are expected to recognise different high frequency words depending on which year they are in at school.

Knowledge of the speech sounds that letters make in words, not their names, so for ship, not 'ess' 'haych' 'igh' 'pee' but the sounds 'sh-i-p'

Breaking a word into its individual sounds, e.g. 'ship - sh-i-p'

Sight vocabulary:
Words that children learn to recognise at a glance by their overall look, rather than by sounding out each letter. It helps to learn many high frequency words at a glance because they turn up so often in books. As a child becomes a more confident reader, their sight vocabulary will grow naturally.

Synthetic phonics:
A description of the method of learning to read whereby children learn letter sounds and how to blend these sounds together to make words.

Three letters together that represent one unit of sound e.g. 'igh' in the word night.


If you are still feeling a bit lost with all of the phonics based vocabulary that your child is using then please watch this video, found in the video resource section of our website, to help you to gain an understanding about how phonics is taught and what all of the technical vocabulary means.



Let's Go To Letterland!

Letterland has been an effective scheme for teaching children to read for over 50 years. It has just undergone an overhaul and, in October 2021 became fully validated by the Department for Education. It uses child friendly characters to enable children to learn the connections between the shapes of letters and the sounds that they make. If you would like to find out more about Letterland then please visit their website: https://www.letterland.com/parent-guide where you will find lots of videos and resources that can help you and your child as they journey into reading.


To find out who's who in Letterland, click on this image