What is Phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language. Teaching children to blend the sounds of letters together helps them decode unfamiliar or unknown words by sounding them out. It is a way of teaching children to read by breaking up words into small chunks of sounds. For example we can break a simple word like ‘cat’ into three sounds c-a-t. To become successful readers children will learn individual sounds for each letter group or group of letters. Some sounds in English are made up of more than one letter like the sound ‘ea’ in or ‘tea’ (t-ea) or ‘team’ (t-ea-m). Once children know the sounds they will be able to decode unfamiliar words by breaking the word into sounds then read the word by blending back together: sh-o-p = shop

For an audio guide on how to pronounce the sounds click on one of the links below:


Why do we teach phonics?

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way it’s the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It’s particularly helpful for children aged 5-7. Almost all children who have good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently and read for enjoyment.


How do we teach phonics?

At Discovery Primary Academy phonics is taught as part of Success for All which is the Literacy programme we follow. The teaching of phonics and word level skills takes place on a daily basis during SFA lessons


 Pupil’s phonemic awareness is developed using games, puppets, pictures and rhymes. Sounds and taught and reviewed every day, ensuring fast paced progress.


In Year 1, children are tested using a statutory government screening test designed to check your child’s phonic knowledge. Children are re tested in Year 2 if they do not reach the required standard.


For more information please see the documents at the top of the page.



Useful Links

To visit Jolly Phonics click here: