Heatherlands Primary School

Enjoying Learning Together


Mrs Allen - Phonics Lead

Phonics trends


Phonics sound mats

A parents guide to using Bug Club to support phonics and reading

Tricky words

Jubilee Phonics

Easter phonics activities

Heatherlands Primary Phonics Sequence of Learning

Other websites to support practice phonic skills



Phonics Play – Phonics activities and games

This website is used in school. There are some free games that can be played or a subscription can be paid to access the full site. By the end of Reception, children should be Phase 3 Secure By the end of Year 1 children should be Phase 5 Secure



Phonics Bloom– Phonics activities and games

By the end of Reception, children should be Phase 3 Secure By the end of Year 1 children should be Phase 5 Secure



Letters and Sounds – Phonics activities and games

By the end of Reception, children should be Phase 3 Secure By the end of Year 1 children should be Phase 5 Secure. There is also high frequency word lists to practice.



Teach your Monster to Read – Reading and phonics support



 Cbeebies Alphablocks – Reading and phonics support

Phonics Friday

Phonics Rationale

At Heatherlands, we use a systematic approach to the teaching of synthetic phonics to enable children to develop secure reading and spelling skills.  As a school, we have transitioned from Letters and Sounds 2007 to using Bug Club, one of the DfE’s approved phonics teaching programmes 2021, as a teaching tool to teach synthetic phonics. ‘Evidence shows that teaching phonics is the best way to teach children to read, e.g. the EEF considers phonics to be one of the most secure and best-evidenced areas of pedagogy, recommending all schools use a systematic approach to teaching it’ (The Reading Framework).


A strong emphasis on high quality teaching of phonics can substantially reduce the number of children at risk of falling below age-related expectations for reading. The Heatherlands Phonics Sequence sets out clear expectations of pupils’ progress in phonics term by term, in line with the teaching progression of Bug Club. This means we will revise key sounds whilst exposing the children to alternative graphemes from the next phase. This sequence makes clear links between Bug Club, Development Matters (2020), the National Curriculum (2016) and The Reading Framework: teaching the foundations of literacy (July 2021). It is to be used as a tool for informing all teaching of phonics including in whole class phonic sessions, interventions and 1:1 reading. We are dedicated to ensuring children that may fall behind or are vulnerable are identified swiftly and are supported within our catch up/keep up programme. The sequence sets out the pace at which we expect a typical child to progress through the phonics programme. Those children who are identified as not being on track, through our formative and summative assessments, receive interventions to enable them to ‘catch up’ with their peers by identifying gaps and making it clear where targeted teaching is needed. Whole class phonics teaching follows the suggested four-part structure of Revisit and Review – Teach – Practise –Apply (assess) as suggested initially from Letters and Sounds and adapted within the Bug Club teaching structure. At Heatherlands, through staff training and ‘high quality phonics sessions’, ‘children’s acquisition of speaking and listening skills, and phonic knowledge and skills are greatly enhanced.’  (Independent Review of the teaching of early reading2006).




Our aims are for all children at Heatherlands Primary School to:

  • Be taught high-quality systematic phonic lessons
  • Learn the correspondence between graphemes in written language and phonemes in spoken language (GPC)
  • Be able to orally blend and segment
  • Have knowledge of the alphabetic code and skills for blending for reading
  • Have knowledge of the alphabetic code and skills for segmenting for spelling
  • Have a bank of common exception words which they can decode, using a 'phonics first' approach
  • Understand and use the technical vocabulary related to phonics
  • Have their progress tracked through effective assessment, to enable teachers to make informed decisions about planning for the next steps
  • Have a rich and varied environment which they can access to support their phonic knowledge and application
  • Have access to books that are phonetically decodable through Phases 1 to 5, alongside books that develop and support other strategies for reading


Action and Implementation


  • In Early Years children will be taught phonics through the teaching of the Bug Club Phonics scheme, following the school's phonics sequence of learning
  • Children in Year 1 continue to follow the phonics sequence of learning, using the Bug Club Phonics scheme, until they are secure at phase 5
  • Children in Year 2 continue to have daily phonics lessons and those who were not secure at phase 5 when leaving year 1 or who did not pass the phonics screening check receive additional phonics intervention sessions
  • Children from Year 2 to Year 6 will revisit and expand on their phonic knowledge through the teaching of GPS (grammar, punctuation and spelling) lessons


Early Years and Key Stage 1


  • Daily phonics lessons, using Bug Club Phonics and the school's sequence of learning, alongside the National Curriculum


Key Stage 2


  • Daily SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) activities included in English teaching linked to writing
  • Where appropriate targeted phonics lessons/activities depending on the need of the children
  • Reading intervention groups where appropriate
  • Weekly spelling investigations with focus on specific spelling patterns


Role of Parents and Carers


Phonics is most effective when children are given plenty of encouragement and learn to enjoy reading and books. Parents play a vital role in helping with this and at Heatherlands Primary School, we endeavour to support parents with this through regular communications such as home learning activities, parents’ evenings etc. We also lead regular phonic workshops in Early Years and Key Stage 1, with a focus on developing the parents’ subject knowledge in the teaching of phonics and supporting them to work alongside their child in phonic activities.  In addition, parents are given resource materials, suggested web links, video tutorials and strategies to help their child at home with phonics at these events. In Early Years, parents are invited into their child’s class for ‘Phonics Friday’ where they have a phonics lesson with their child. Using the Bug Club Phonics online platform, weekly interactive games and activities linked to blending and segmenting are assigned to each child to consolidate that week's learning. 


H. Allen

Phonics Lead

Examples of sound mats to support children's phoneme grapheme correspondence

Early Years using phonics in the outside classroom, with magnetic boards and in multi-sensory ways. They are also playing a high frequency word game called red word puddles.

Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl

Still image for this video
Learn how to pronounce all 44 phonics sounds, or phonemes, used in the English language with these helpful examples from Suzy Ditchburn and her daughter Lucy.