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What is phonics and how is it taught?

Here at HCCPS we teach daily phonics lessons in EYFS, KS1 and to some pupils in KS2.

Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language. Teaching children to blend the sounds of letters together helps them decode unfamiliar or unknown words by sounding them out. For example, when a child is taught the sounds for the letters t, p, a and s, they can start to build up the words: “tap”, “taps”, “pat”, “pats” and “sat”. Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of individual letters and how those letters sound when they’re combined will help children decode words as they read. Understanding phonics will not only allow children to read but will also help them know which letters to use when they are writing words. Phonics involves matching the sounds of spoken English with individual letters or groups of letters. For example, the sound k can be spelled as c, k, ck or ch. At our school we teach phonics using the Letter and Sounds programme in all year groups.

You can find lots more information, useful videos and websites about phonics on the English page of our school website.


Phonics at activities at home.

If your child is learning from home, we recommend they do 20 minutes of phonics activities per day. This can involve playing games and doing activities on the phonicsplay website, watching videos of Geraldine Giraffe on youtube then trying to find more words around your house with the same sounds, watching alphablocks and sounding out and writing some of the words from the videos. If your child is in year 1, they should start by playing the phase 2 phonics play games and then moving on to phase 3 games when they have mastered the phase 2 ones. If you child is in year 2, they should start by playing the phase 3 games and then moving on to phase 4 and 5.  Both year groups can also practise some spelling in their blue spelling home learning books using the word lists in them. Do look at the English page on the school website for more phonics videos and websites.

Username: Hardwick_cambourne

Password: phonics


Another fun way to learn new sounds is with Geraldine the Giraffe- see link below:


Another great way to help your children learn phonics is via Alphablocks, the link below gives parents a quick guide to help at home.