Phonics at Cusgarne

Phonics is the way in which children are taught to read, by using individual letters and their corresponding letter sounds to read and write.

At Cusgarne, all children receive a 20 minute phonics session every day. We use ‘Letters and Sounds’ as the basis for teaching phonics and believe that the teaching of phonics goes beyond the ability to read and includes the skills needed to read, write and spell, ensuring a fluency approach to our teaching of English.

Each phonics session is targeted at the children’s specific level or phonics phase and each session follows the same agenda:

Learning new sounds,

Recapping already learned sounds,

Reading words by sounding out and blending out loud

Reading words by sounding out and blending in our heads.

Reading weekly spellings

Writing common exception words


And in key stage 2:

Comprehension, suffixes and prefixes alongside alternative spelling patterns and dictation.


Children in the EYFS and Year 1 learn sounds from the 5 phonic phases alongside pseudo words (nonsense words) which are read within the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check which takes place in the Summer term.


Phonics terms:

Grapheme: the written letter.

Phoneme: the sound each letter makes.

Diagraph: 2 letters which make 1 sound.

Trigraph: 3 letters which make 1 sound.

Split diagraph: 2 letters which make 1 sound when split by another letter.

Consonant diagraph: 2 consonants which blend to make a sound.

Consonant cluster: 3 or more consonants which blend to make a sound.

Common exception words: words which cannot be spelt using our phonics skills.  Words which we learn t spell using alternative methods, mnemonics, rhyme, syllables etc.