Pinewood Infant School and Foundation Unit

'Together we give children the roots to grow and the wings to fly'

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We teach phonics using a variety of teaching styles and methods to ensure all children make good or outstanding progress in learning sounds to enable them to read, write and spell effectively. We have our own phonics scheme based on the order of teaching sounds of 'letters and sounds' supported by the use of the 'Ruth Miskin Read Write Inc' formation cards and we follow our own school principles that we have developed as an experienced staff team.  We target group across year groups and phonics is taught first thing in the morning when children are fresh to optimise learning. Children not keeping up with the programme receive additional 'keep up' sessions and small group work.

At Pinewood Infant and Nursery School, early reading is taught using synthetic phonics as the main approach to reading. Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds all through the word for reading, and how to segment the sounds in order to write words. Children are taught to use their phonic skills and knowledge as their first approach to reading, but are also taught how to read high frequency words which do not completely follow the phonic rules. 

A phonics sessions is ordered like this from F2-Y2:

Here is a video explaining how each phoneme (sound) is articulated:


Still image for this video
Phonics is taught from Nursery and is divided into different  phases or sets, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning.The first aim is to foster children’s speaking and listening skills as preparation for learning to read with phonics. Parents can play a vital role in helping their children develop these skills, by encouraging their children to listen carefully and talk extensively about what they hear, see and do.
An example of how we teach phonics at Pinewood:

 Children learn:

  • How to represent each of the forty-two sounds by a letter or sequence of letters
  • How to blend sounds together for reading and how to segment (split) words for spelling
  • The letter names
  • How to read and spell some high frequency ‘tricky’ words containing sounds not yet learned (for example ‘they’, ‘my’, ‘her’ and ‘you’)

Children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’, which are words with spellings that are unusual.There is a suggested order  for teaching the letters which we follow and adapt.We recognise, however, that children’s personal experience of letters varies enormously. Most importantly, we ensure that phonics is taught and practised at a pace that is suitable for individual and groups of children.

Statutory phonics screening check

At the end of year one, your child will undergo a statutory phonics screening check. This is a statutory assessment which began in 2012.

All children in year one must take the check and any year two children who did not meet the expected standard in the previous year will take the check again.

The phonics screening check is designed to confirm whether or not individual children have learned phonics decoding to the appropriate standard.

Our children do very well in phonics and over the years have often scored higher than the national average. 

The links below will enable you to download copies of previous phonics screening checks.

Our phonics workshop materials provide further details about the check.

Phonics Screening Example