What is Phonics?

  • Children are taught to read by breaking down the words into separate sounds or ‘phonemes. They are then taught how to blend these sounds together to read the whole word
  •  Children have a 40 minute phonics and reading lesson each day and they are encouraged to use the strategies to read and write all the time, in all lessons.

What scheme do we use at Waterthorpe?

  • We use the Read Write Inc programme

Who will be tested?

      • Every Year One child in the country will take the Phonics test during the same week in June
      • The children will complete the test one at a time in a quiet area of the school
      • Class teachers will complete the test with the children in their classes
      • The screening only takes about 5 – 10 minutes with each child

Why are the children being tested?

      • The aim of the test is to ensure that all children are able to read by the end of Year Two
      • This midpoint check will ensure we have a clear picture of what children need to learn as they go into Year Two
      • Children who do not pass the test will re-take it in Year Two

What will the children have to do?

      • The test is similar to tasks the children do all the time during their phonics lessons
      • The test will see which sounds the children know. They will be asked to read made up ‘nonsense’ words.
      • They will be asked to ‘sound out’ a word and blend the sounds together d_o_g = dog

Examples of nonsense words:

gop toop
foz ruch
cheeb dight


How you can help

Your child will bring home a new book each week. Please read this book for five minutes each day. Children will need to bring this book to school every day. Due to Covid19, reading books will be collected on a Friday and new ones sent out Monday, so they can be quarantined over the weekend

It is very important we look after the books and unfortunately we may have to charge parents and carers for lost books.

Please trust your child’s teacher to choose the book(s) that will help your child the most.

Help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘push’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds. You can hear how to say the sounds correctly at this link:



Sh-ee-p      ch-ea-t

.   . .     .  .  .

Sometimes your child might bring home a book that they know well. Please don’t say, ‘This is too easy.’ Instead, encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story.

We know parents and carers are very busy people. But if you can find time to read to your child as much as possible, it helps him or her to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family. You can find out about good stories to read to your child here:


· Children can practise their phonics by playing games online, below are some good websites which we use in school:




If you have any questions about the phonics test or want to know how you can help your child further, please see the class teacher.