Phonics at Wheelock

What is phonics?

There has been a huge shift in the past few year in how we teach reading in UK schools. This is having a big impact and helping many children learn to read and spell. Phonics is recommended as the first strategy that children should be taught in helping them learn to read. It runs alongside other teaching methods such as Book Club, and Guided Reading to help children develop all the other vital reading skills and hopefully give them a real love of reading.

So, what exactly is phonics?

Words are made up from small units of sound called phonemes. Phonics teaches children to be able to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children to learn to read words and to spell words.


Children are taught to be able to blend. This is when children say the sounds that make up a word and are able to merge the sounds together until they can hear what the word is. This skill is vital in learning to read.


Children are also taught to segment. This is the opposite of blending. Children are able to say a word and then break it up into the phonemes that make it up. This skill is vital in being able to spell words.

Phonic Screening test for Year 1 and re-tests for Year 2

In June the Year 1 and some Year 2 children take part in a national phonic screening test to assess their phonic awareness and understanding. The test is be conducted on a 1:1 basis with the child’s class teacher and they need to read 40 words; 20 are real and 20 are made up nonsense words. The children need to recognise the sounds in a word and blend these words together to read the word. To ensure the children are well prepared for the test we teach phonics daily and share with parents the sounds we have focussed on each week.

To support your child at home please have a l;ook at the attached resources. There is also a video that explains the test in more detail.

If you have any questions about the phonic screening test please talk to your class teacher and you will also have chance to talk about this at the next parents evenings.

Resources to watch and play;

Mr Thorne does phonics - Youtube

Alphablocks - CBeebies

Buried Treasure - Phonics play


Files to Download

Contact the School

Wheelock Primary School

Crewe Road
CW11 4PY

Tel: 01270 845911


Follow us @WheelockPrimary