Uplands Primary School

All About Phonics



Phonics is a way of teaching reading and writing.  It helps the children hear, identify and use the individual sounds that make up the English language.  We have 26 letters of the alphabet in the English language but there are 44 different sounds.  In phonics, we teach children the individual phonemes which make up all of our words. 


Key terms


Phoneme: the smallest unit of sound within a word.

Grapheme: a letter or set of letters that represent a sound.

Diagraph: two letters that combine to make one sound, eg oa in goat.

Trigraph: three letters that combine to make one sound, eg igh in night.

Blending: the process of pushing sounds together to read a word.

Segmenting: the process of separating the sounds in a word to enable spelling.


Bug Club

At Uplands, we use Bug Club Phonics as our synthetic phonics scheme.  It is a fun and interactive learning platform which we use to support our daily lessons in Reception and Year 1.  


Beginning in their first term of school, your child will learn a new sound a day - they will learn what it looks like, the sound it makes and how to write it.  As the number of sounds they have learnt increases, they will begin to use those sounds to read and write simple words.


In Reception and Key Stage 1, you can expect your child to bring home a fully decodable reading book that matches the sounds they have been learning in class, alongside a reading for pleasure book.  This might be a book that they need you to read to them.  They will also be given a Bug Club log-in so they can access the online reading books that we use alongside our physical books. 



Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl

Learn how to pronounce all 44 phonics sounds, or phonemes, used in the English language with these helpful examples from Suzy Ditchburn and her daughter.Find...

Phonics Games

Below are some links to websites that offer a range of free phonics games that your child might enjoy playing at home.

Year 2

In Year 2, we continue our daily phonics lessons to build on what the children have already learnt in Reception and Year 1.  We start looking at reading and spelling with various suffixes and using different spelling patterns.  We also use the sounds we have already learnt to read and spell some more complex words.


Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2 (years 3 to 6), we build on the learning that has happened earlier in the school with our daily spelling lessons.  We use a carefully structured spelling scheme which focuses on recapping what we have already learnt and introducing new spelling patterns.  We look at the morphology of words -  we look at the meaning of the root word and how this can be changed with the addition of various suffixes and prefixes. We look at what connections we can make within spelling patterns and use these to help us spell increasingly more difficult words.

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Uplands Primary School

Thompson Road, Stroud, Gloucestershire,