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What scheme do we use?

Sparken Hill Academy follow one of the DfE's validated synthetic systematic phonics (SSP) programs called 'Bug Club' to teach phonics from phase 2 to phase 6 in Foundation 2 and Key Stage One. The Bug Club scheme is a graduated approach and introduces a new sound/rule daily to the children, following a repetitive structure, embedding reading, spelling and writing skills daily. Year 2 children and Key Stage Two children follow the Spelling Shed scheme for phonics/spelling learning. Children in Key Stage 2 who did not pass their Y1 phonics screening check or the re-test in Y2, still receive the Spelling Shed whole class teaching during phonics time but in addition receive high quality focused phonics intervention to catch up, this takes place throughout the day.    


How do we teach phonics?

Children are taught phonics daily and all children receive a whole class, age-related, phonics input. Children who are working below age related expectations and require additional support to catch up, receive small group/1-to-1 targeted phonics intervention at another time during the day. A robust tracking system is used to ensure we monitor pupil progress in phonics.


Phonics through the ages in FS and KS1

In F1, children begin Phase 1 phonics from their start date. Children take part in small group sessions with their key worker every day for 15 minutes. Phase 1 is taught through a range of activities to develop phonological awareness such as listening games to discriminate environmental, voice and instrumental sounds and also rhyme, alliteration and rhythm games. The children also have lots of experience with oral segmenting and blending (hearing d-o-g makes dog) throughout the day to prepare them for phase 2 learning in F2. 


In F2, children begin Phase 2 from the Autumn term, learning the links between individual letters and their sounds (phoneme-grapheme correspondence). Phase 3 is introduced in the Spring term and Phase 4 in the Summer term. F2 phonics is taught daily for 20-30 minutes a day. 


In Year 1 and Year 2, pupils have two daily phonics learning sessions for 20-30 minutes a day. Year 1 recap F2 learning in Autumn 1 and are then taught Phase 5 phonemes from Autumn 2 until the end of the year. Year 2 recap Y1 learning in Autumn 1 and are then taught Phase 6 from Autumn 2 until the end of the year. 

See below for yearly expectations...

Phonics in Foundation Stage 2



The phonemes children will learn:

The tricky words children will learn:

Phonics in Key Stage One 

The phonemes your child will learn in Y1:

The tricky words your child will learn in Y1:

Spelling rules your child will learn in Y2:

Tricky words your child will learn in Y2:

Phonics Screening Check in Y1

In Year 1 all pupils nationally complete the phonics screening check. The purpose of the phonics screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. 


  • The phonics screening check will be constructed of 20 real words and 20 pseudo-words (nonsense words). 
  • The pseudo-words provide the purest assessment of phonic decoding because they will be new to all children, and so there will be no unintended bias based on visual memory of words or vocabulary knowledge.
  • The phonics screen check will be scored by your child's teacher. For each word, the teacher will record whether the child read the word correctly or not. 
  • The pass mark for previous tests was 32/40 but this has not yet been decided for 2024 and could change. 


Does it matter if my child doesn't pass?

No. Children who have not reached this level should receive extra support from their school to ensure they can improve their decoding skills, and will then have the opportunity to retake the phonics screening check again in Y2.

Information from the Parent workshop (25.01.24)

Resources for parents