Belle Vue Primary & Nursery School

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At Belle Vue we believe that phonics should be taught in a systematic way within lessons that are engaging, interactive and enjoyable for all of our children.  Learning phonics is an essential skill used in reading and writing. The roots of reading and writing can be found in phonics and our children's ability to make links between spoken and written language.  Being well equipped with phonological understanding and strategies to decode and access the world around them, allows our children to experience growth, contributing to their successes in reading and writing.

Update September 2022 Monster Phonics has been introduced across school

Monster Phonics FREE Parent Webinars 

  1. 6th October at 8pm. 

  1. 20th October at 8pm

These webinars will guide you to a better understanding of the systematic teaching of phonics – how your child learns to read and spell. 

It will give examples of how to use Monster Phonics to accelerate learning for your child. It will also provide you with fun and engaging strategies to improve reading and spelling. 

Click the chosen link above to book your space! 

What is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching your child to read and write by helping them to hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another.

Words are made up from small units of sound called phonemes. Phonics teaches children to be able to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children to learn to read words and to spell words.

In phonics lessons, children are taught three main things:

  • GPCs: They are taught GPCs. This stands for grapheme phoneme correspondences. This simply means that they are taught all the phonemes in the English language and ways of writing them down. These sounds are taught in a particular order. The first sounds to be taught are s, a, t, p, i, n.
  • Blending: Children are taught to be able to blend. This is when children say the sounds that make up a word and are able to merge the sounds together until they can hear what the word is. This skill is vital in learning to read.
  • Segmenting: Children are also taught to segment. This is the opposite of blending. Children are able to say a word and then break it up into the phonemes that make it up. This skill is vital in being able to spell words.

What resource do we use to teach Phonics at Belle Vue?

At Belle Vue Primary School, we use Monster Phonics to teach phonics. 

Monster Phonics is a highly-engaging, multisensory, structured, synthetic phonics programme. This is a DfE validated scheme, which covers six stages of early reading development. It accelerates learning by allowing children to learn new graphemes by using monsters to group graphemes for recall and to provide an easy and fun memory cue for children. It also uses colour-coding to highlight the grapheme when teaching a new grapheme. Once taught and secure, the colour is removed.

We are confident that the children are going to love Monster Phonics, and that high engagement and interest created by the programme will further support the children’s learning. Throughout the programme, the children will revisit any of the above phases to consolidate and embed their phonic knowledge.

How is Phonics teaching structured from Nursery to Year 2


Phonic Knowledge and Skills

One (Nursery/start of Reception

Activities are divided into 7 aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Two (Reception)

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Three (Reception)

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining sounds not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the 'simple code', i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Four (Reception)

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Five (Year 1)

Now we move on to the 'complex code'. Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Six (Year 2)

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.

Phonics progression Reception to Year 2 

Assessment in Phonics

Progress in phonics is continually reviewed to ensure that children access work at an appropriate level and their needs in phonics are being met. You will receive updates from your class teacher to find out more about your child's next steps in phonics and how you can help at home.

Within EYFS and Key Stage 1, assessment of phonics against the Monster Phonics phases is carried out on a regular basis. A statutory phonics screening check is carried out in June of Year 1 also. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. The phonics screening check contains 40 words divided into two sections of 20 words. Both sections contain a mixture of real words and pseudo-words.

Children who do not meet the required standard for the check in Year 1 will enter again in Year 2.

How can parents/carers help at home?

There are many engaging activities and games that you can enjoy playing with your child at home. One of the best ways to support your child’s understanding of phonics is to share traditional nursery rhymes and stories and talking together about the words that rhyme.

Children at Belle Vue will receive phonics texts and other reading books weekly. We recommend that you spend around 5-10 minutes daily, looking at these books and other texts that you have at home. 'Little and often' is key and it is best to do this at a time where your child will be the most engaged and motivated. Sometimes this may be during breakfast, after teatime or even before bedtime. Take turns to enjoy the texts as your child will learn so much for you. Model using expression, pausing in the right places, putting on characters voices and you will be amazed how much your child will copy! Additionally, you will find at the front or back of the book, tips and ideas for you to work through. It is very important for your child to show good comprehension and understanding about the texts they are reading, as well as the reading itself. Ask them lots of questions and talk through any words they do not understand.

Encourage your child to read the 'tricky words'. Tricky words contain letters that don't represent their normal sounds, and these are taught separately. Children can use their phonics to help them read part of the words, but tricky parts will need to be learned by sight.

Phonics and Handwriting

In addition to Monster Phonics sessions, the children at Belle Vue will also enjoy weekly Monster Handwriting lessons. This will focus on letter formation specifically and introduce children to alliterative rhymes to help them.

The handwriting sessions will provide:

  • Verbal and visual guidance for the formation of each grapheme. Children will draw the letter in the air from the start to the endpoint. 
  • Practise of the formation of lowercase and uppercase letters.
  • Additional support with phonemic awareness of initial sounds.
  • Practise of the formation of letters in words.

Your child's teacher will also continue to embed handwriting practise within all areas of the curriculum. 

Additional links for further information and resources

There are a range of online resources that provide fun and engaging games and activities for children to complete with you at home.

A School Life Website
School Life iOS Mobile Application
School Life Android Mobile Application