Phonics, Reading and Spelling

At Biddick Hall Infant and Nursery School we use the Sounds-Write programme to teach phonics,reading and spelling. We explicitly teach the children the 3 skills of:

  • blending
  • segmenting
  • phoneme manipulation (sound swapping).

The children are taught to decode and encode by understanding 4 clear concepts:

  • letters are symbols that represent sounds that they say
  • sounds can be spelt using 1,2,3 or 4 letters ‚Äď f, oa, air, eigh
  • the same sound can be spelt in different ways ‚Äď bone, coat, toe, window, shoulder
  • the same spelling can represent different sounds ‚Äď bread, eat, great

All adults in school have been trained to teach the sounds-write programme and they all use the same consistent, concise language about sounds and spelling when teaching. We say that the letters spell sounds, they do not say sounds. We use phrases such as:

  • In this word‚Ķ
  • If this was‚Ķ. this would be a‚Ķ
  • This can spell ‚Ķ. What else can it spell?
  • Say the sounds and read the word
The Sounds Write programme we use for phonics is also used in reading to support children with their decoding. Children read fully decodeable  books which match the phonics programme taught and our aim is that  all children are fluent readers by the time they leave KS1. We use planned daily story times and discrete comprehension lessons(Y2) to ensure that we teach the skills required for comprehension explicitly.  Pupils read in school to adults regularly and that are strong systems in place which ensure that practice takes place at home too.
Please see below for important links which may help you to help your child:

Help your child to read and write: New online course

‘Help your child to read and write’ is an online course in two parts – and the first part is free! It’s aimed specifically at parents and carers who are interested in putting their children on the first steps to literacy. Part 1 covers the first seven units of the Initial Code, and Part 2 covers units 8 to 11 inclusive.

You can find the course by clicking on the graphic below, or go to:

Leaflet for YR parents:

Here is a leaflet that provides a guide for parents of children in reception:

Leaflet for YR Parents pdf

Download sheet for parents:

An information sheet with common spellings of the consonants and vowels can be downloaded here:

Common Spellings of the Consonants & Vowels pdf


Other Information:

Reading For Pleasure

This year we have taken part in a Reading for Pleasure project with the Open University.¬† Both staff and children have developed their knowledge of children’s books, authors and illustrators¬† and we have further developed book talk around school.¬† Take a look at the Reading for Pleasure project below to see the strategies which have been implemented and the impact this has had on your children.

Reading for Pleasure Project