How well do we teach phonics from the start?

How well do we teach phonics from the start at St Erme with Trispen?

At St Erme with Trispen, we ensure that children make a strong start to reading as soon as they begin school with a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. Children begin learning letter sounds on entry to Reception,* once we have complete baseline assessments in communication, language and literacy to support and identify speech, language and communication needs. Following the RWI system pupils are immersed in a directed teaching approach which embeds systematic phonics skills as the core skills for reading. Sounds are taught in a specific order, and regular assessment informs future planning and interventions.


1)     Set 1 Speed Sounds:

• Words containing these sounds, by sound-blending, e.g. m–a–t mat, c–a–t cat, g–o–t got, f–i–sh fish, s–p–o–t spot, b–e–s–t best, s–p–l–a–sh splash.

2)     Set 2 Speed Sounds

3)     Set 3 Speed Sounds

From set 2, pupils learn 2 or 3 new sounds per week. To support the learning in school, pupils take home phonics sheets that match the sounds they have learnt each week. They also take home their phonically decodable reading book to reinforce the sounds taught as well as the red words. Rereading this familiar, already read text develops fluency as a reader and ensure children experience success. They also take home a closely matched Book Bag Book which they have not yet read.

• Phonics is discussed with parents in the Transition to School meeting and parents are given resources to support phonics at home.

• When Reception pupils have started school another meeting on supporting phonics is provided for parents.

Check if your child can read these sounds. Make sure they say sounds ‘mmm’ and not letter names like ‘em’. Sound pronunciation should be ‘pure’ – ‘mmm’ not ‘muh’.