Blending and segmenting. Come to our parent workshops which we host every year - they are great fun and adults find them informative and very useful.

We teach pupils to read using systematic synthetic phonics.  Phonics is basically the sounds that individual or groups of letters make.  Children are taught these sounds in a particular order.

Synthetic phonics is also known as inductive phonics - a method of teaching reading where the letter sounds are taught first.  These sounds (phonemes) are recognised in print (graphemes) and are then blended together to achieve full pronunciation of whole words.  Blending sounds makes words segmenting these sounds enables children to spell (although at the early stages this does not need to more than phonetically plausible).  As children recognise graphemes, they decode them, sound htem out, and blend the sounds together to make words.  


p - a - ck       pack      

p-i-g              pig

At CtS, 93% of pupils attain the level required in the Year 1 phonics screener (16% above the national score), and usually 100% of pupils by the end of Year 2.

As a Rule

Phonic programmes should not encourage children to guess words from non-phonic clues such as pictures before applying phonic knowledge and skills.  In line with government policy, only one approach is adopted in the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics.  The firm grounding we provide in the teaching of phonics is reflected in high key stage 1 reading results at age 7, and very high results in reading at the age of 11.

Want to know how to make the correct sounds:

Mr Thorne does phonics videos are available on Youtube and give a very clear introduction to the correct pronunciation of letter sounds.  He also has an app available for mobile devices.

Our high quality systematic, synthetic phonic work will make sure that children learn:

  1. grapheme/phoneme (letter/sound) correspondences ( the alphabetic principle) in a clearly defined, incremental sequences
    - to apply the highly important skill of blending (synthesising) phonemes, in order, all through a word to read it;
    - to apply the skills of segmenting words into their constituent phonemes to spell;
    - and that blending and segmenting are reversible processes
  2. Teachers will make principled, professional judgements about when to start on a systematic, synthetic programme of phonic work but it is reasonable to expect that the great majority of children will be capable of, and benefit from doing so by the age of five. At CtS, we begin teaching phonics in the nursery class.  Children must become fluent readers having secured word recognition skills by the end of key stage one.
  3. Our programme introduces a group of initial consonants and vowels, enabling children, early on, to read and spell many simple CVC words
  4. Then programme is both systematic and synthetic and will map incremental progression in phonic knowledge and skills.
    Teachers track children's progress; assess for further learning and identify incipient difficulties, so that appropriate support can be provided very early on
  5. Multi-sensory activities are firmly focused on intensifying the learning associated with its phonic goal.
    They should avoid taking children down a circuitous route only tenuously linked to the goal. This means avoiding over-elaborate activities that are difficult to manage and take too long to complete, thus distracting the children from concentrating on the learning the sounds accurately
  6. The programme will never neglect engaging and helpful approaches to the more challenging levels where children have to distinguish between phonically irregular graphemes and phonemes
  7. It is important that texts are of the appropriate level for children to apply and practise the phonic knowledge and skills that they have learnt.
    Children should not be expected to use strategies such as whole-word recognition and/or cues from context, grammar, or pictures.