Phonics at Penketh South


At Penketh South Primary School, we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We recognise reading as a key life skill, which underpins access to the rest of the curriculum. We follow the Supersonic Phonics Friends programme to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by and write by developing their phonic knowledge and skills.   Our approach in the teaching of phonics is interactive and multisensory, where all pupils are actively involved in the learning of new sounds.  The systematic teaching of synthetic phonics, using the Supersonic Phonic Friends programme, is given a high priority throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1.  We aim for children to read words and simple sentences by the end of Reception, become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1 and develop a lifelong love of reading as they move through school. Children need to learn key phonic knowledge and develop skills in segmenting and blending to complete the phonics check at the end of Year 1 and as part of developing fluency in reading. We also value and encourage pupils to read for enjoyment and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills – enjoying success and gaining confidence from a positive experience.


Through the teaching of phonics following the Supersonic Phonic Friends programme, the children are taught the essential skills needed for reading. This allows our phonics teaching and learning to be progressive from our Nursery Class up to Year 2. Children in our Nursery work on Firm Foundations in Phonics 1, which concentrates on developing their speaking and listening skills, general sound discrimination,  mastery of phonological awareness (Rhythm and Rhyme, Alliteration and Oral Blending and Segmenting) and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in the Basics 2. As children move into Reception they continue to build on their listening skills and are introduced to The basics 2 which marks the start of systematic phonics work.   The Children in Reception and Year 1 take part in discrete, daily phonics sessions throughout the year. Phonics is taught consistently across school. The lessons are always taught at a fast pace to ensure children are highly engaged and actively involved in the sessions. All teachers use the same resources, flashcards and teaching strategies and give children the chance to revisit/review previous sounds and/or tricky/ high frequency words previously taught, learn a new sound or concept where applicable, practice the new learning to reading or writing words/ sentences, apply the new learning to read and/or write (dictation of words and sentences) and practice basic sight words – ‘tricky’ words and high frequency words. Multi-sensory activities are used when children are first learning sounds encompassing visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities. Knowledge is constantly reviewed and reinforced in each phonic lesson, building upon previous learning. Pupils are given opportunities to apply what they have learnt in when they read aloud to an adult. Teachers regularly assess children’s phonics knowledge using the Supersonic Phonic Friends phonics assessment grid and tracking system. These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps in learning.  Those who are falling behind are identified early and catch up is put in place. Where extra intervention is necessary, this is provided for children throughout Key Stage 1 and 2. Pupils have regular reading sessions with an adult to ensure they are regularly practising and applying their phonics knowledge. This includes extra one-to-one reading for those children who are most vulnerable to enable them to catch up to meet age related expectations.

Children in Reception are expected to acquire knowledge of Supersonic Phonic Friends The Basics- “Phase 2” (s a t p I n m d g o c k ck e u r h b f ff l ll ss), “Phase 3” (j v w x y z zz qu ch sh th ng ai ee oa igh oo o oar or) and “Phase 3 plus” (ur ow oi er ure ear air). They may also begin Phase 4- “adjacent consonants” (CVCC- tent, camp; CCVC- stop, flag; CVCC- roast, paint; CCVC- float, brain; CCVCC- splash and CCCVCC- sprint). Children in Year 1 will re-cap previous Phase 3 learning to ensure secure knowledge and move onto new Phase 4- “adjacent consonants” and Phase 5- “the higher level of phonics” covering multiple spellings (ai/ay, igh/ie, oa/oe, ee/ea, oo/ue) (ai/ay/a_e, igh/ie/i_e, oa/oe/o_e, ee/ea/e_e, oo/ue/u_e) (oi/oy, ur/ir, ow/ou, or/aw, w/wh) (air/are, n/kn, r/wr, f/ff/ph, or/aw/au) (n/kn/gn, or/aw/au/ore, ee/ea/e_e/ey, ee/ea/e_e/ey/y, oo/ue/u_e/ew) and alternative pronounciations (i- tin/wild, o-hot/cold, c-cat/city, g- gate/gent, u-hug/unit, ow- clown/snow, ie- pie/chief, ea- sea/head, er- farmer/her, e- bed/he, a- hat/acorn, y- yes/gym, ch- chin/chef, ou- out/could, ey- money/they, a- hat/acorn/was, y- yes/gym/very/by, ch- chin/chef/school, ou- out/could/mould/you). 

Children have phonically decodable reading books matched to their phonics knowledge which they are encouraged to read regularly at home to ensure fluency in reading is developed. Books are chosen from our reading scheme that are organised according to phonics content.


The impact of consistent, systematic, high quality teaching of the “Supersonic Phonic friends” programme is that children will develop a love of reading and writing and be confident, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test in the Summer term of Year 1. This is taken individually by all children in Year 1 in England. It is designed to give teachers and parents information on how your child is progressing in phonics. It will help to identify whether your child needs additional support at this stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill.  Children that do not pass in year 1 will re-take the screening check in year 2.  For those children who need to consolidate their knowledge and skills further, Key Stage 2 provides support based on individual children's needs.  Please see the leaflet in the files section below for further information.  Children make good progress from their starting points and the vast majority are ready for the next stage in their education as they transfer through Early Years, Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2. Children enjoy listening to adults read and develop a love of reading, gaining satisfaction from their growing success in developing independence and fluency. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our phonics and reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments and can be seen in success across the curriculum as children progress through school.

Useful Phonics Websites

Alphablocks - lots of videos and games to help with recognising letters and reading.

Phonics Games - A variety of different interactive games

Letters and sounds initial sound game - this game lets your child reveal a sound/letter and then try to find the picture that starts with the same sound.

BBC Bitesize - this game allows your child to listen to the sounds in a word and to pick the correct letter.  Then they can see what word they have made with all of the sounds together.

Phonics Play - there are several free games to play that will help your child in all aspects of their phonics development.


Files to Download

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Penketh South CP School
Finlay Ave, Penketh, Warrington WA5 2PN
Headteacher | Miss Lorraine Browne [email protected]
Chair of Governors | Carolyn Williams [email protected]
SENCO | Mrs Roper [email protected]