Phonics at St John Fisher

Phonics is a  way of teaching children to read quickly and skillfully by teaching letters and sounds that are then blended into words. At St. John Fisher we use a scheme called Read Write Inc Phonics: The children are taught how to:

  • Recognise individual sounds using a picture clue
  • Identify “special friends” where more than one letter makes a sound, e.g. the “ay” as in play or the “igh” as in fright.
  • Blend sounds together to make words
  • Read sounds taught in a short story book
  • Use this new knowledge to “Fred Talk” new words they come across

This is the first important step in learning to read.

Read Write Inc phonics groups are decided based on an assessment of what sounds and words a child can read. Any children who have not made progress at these assessment points are targeted for additional phonic support.


Year 1 Phonics Screening


What is the Phonics Screening Check?

The national phonics screening check was introduced in 2012 to all year one pupils. It is a short statutory assessment to confirm whether children are able to decode words to read them. It aims to identify children who need extra help so that they can be given support to improve their reading skills.


When does it take place?

The phonics screening check takes place in June.


What form does the phonics screening check take? 

The child will be taken by a teacher and asked to read 40 words, 20 real words and 20 non-words (nonsense words or alien words). The format of the assessment will not be new to the children, they practice these words, in groups and individually, in class throughout the year. The purpose of reading non-words is to test a child’s phonics ability – they will not be able to guess these words and can only read them with their good phonetic knowledge.


What happens if children do not pass in year one?

They will re-take the phonics screening check in year two.