At Inspire Academy, we use the scheme ‘First Class Phonics’ which supports the systematic and synthetic teaching of phonics. Children will learn the sounds of individual letters and how those letters sound when they are combined. This will progress to applying their knowledge of sounds to read and write words, then read and write sentences. We provide the children with lots of opportunities to use and apply their phonic learning through games and activities during phonics sessions so that they then use this in their independent reading and written work.

Our phonics scheme ensures clear, logical progression and highlights when certain sounds are to be introduced, how many sounds children should know at various different points within the term, and when the different phases are taught.

From Nursery, children are taught Phase One phonics. Phase One provides the foundations of language and listening, including; singing, rhyme and rhythm.  

All children (Reception – Year 2) have a daily phonics session of 20-30 minutes. This follows a four-part lesson which includes: revisit and review, teach, practise and apply. In the final half term of Year 1, pupils are assessed by a statutory ‘Phonics Screening Check’ which is undertaken by all Year 1 pupils nationally. This is used to identify children who will need additional support with phonics in Year 2. Those children will retake the assessment at the end of that year. Parents will be invited to attend a meeting to provide them with more information about the screening check when their child starts in Year 1.

As part of our First Class Phonics sessions, high frequency words (words which appear most often) and tricky words (words that cannot be decoded using phonic skills) are taught. Once taught, the children are encouraged to read those words by sight. See below the overview which outlines the High Frequency word/Tricky words which are taught in each phase.

Complete List of High Frequency Words and Tricky Words

Reception parents/carers are asked to attend a phonics workshop in October to find out more information about how phonics is taught at the Academy. We aim to develop parent’s confidence in helping their children with phonics and reading at home. If parents miss this workshop for any reason, the class teacher will be happy to arrange an alternative time to share the information.

Below are some links you could use to support your child with phonics at home.

ICT Games – Literacy games -sound buttons to build your own words

Information about the Phonics screening check for parents

ICT Games – Forest Phonics (buried treasure, dragons den, pick a picture)

Phonics Bloom – Matching pairs, sentence substitution (free flashcards for you to print and suggested games)

BBC Alphablocks (guide to phonics, episodes to watch)

Jolly Phonics songs (youtube)

Mr Thorne does phonics (youtube)


Phonics Workshop for
Parents/Carers – Reading
Phonics Workshop for
Parents/Carers – Writing