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Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3SJ

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At Holywell we teach discrete daily phonics throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, following the Letters and Sounds phases and using a range of engaging resources including Jolly Phonics. 



Phonics sessions last for approximately 20 minutes and follow the 4 part structure of Review, Teach, Practise and Apply.

Revisit – recap on previously taught sounds.

Teach – teach a new sound or word.

Practise – provide opportunities to practise saying, reading and writing the sound through games and activities for children.

Apply – apply the new skill to read and write words, captions and sentences.


Year 1 Phonics Screening

Year 1 pupils take the Phonics Screening Check in June.  This check is carried out by class teachers with one child at a time.  Children are asked to blend and read 40 words containing the graphemes they have learnt in Phases 2, 3 and 5.  The difficulty level of these words progresses as they work through the booklet.  The check includes a mixture of real words and nonsense (or pseudo) words.  The nonsense words are presented alongside a picture of an alien. 



Whether or not your child has reached the pass mark for the check will be reported to you at the end of the academic year.  If your child does not reach the pass mark, they will have a second opportunity to take the screening check the following June, when they are in Year 2.

Reading Books

In Foundation Stage and Year 1, as children progress through Phases 2  to 5,we provide phonically decodable reading books from the Pearson ‘Phonics Bug’ scheme. 



As children move into Year 2, they are provided with a colour banded reading book.  These books come from a range of schemes, including Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Big Cat Phonics.  Children in Year 1 may also be provided with a colour banded book, in addition to their phonically decodable reading book, in order to expose them to a wider range of words and stories.


The colour bands at Holywell progress as follows:

Pink (1)

Orange (6)

Lime (11)

Red (2)

Turquoise (7)

Brown (12)

Yellow (3)

Purple (8)

Black (13)

Blue (4)

Gold (9)


Green (5)

White (10)


In order to support your child with their reading, it is important that they read ‘little and often’ to you at home.  It is also important that children re-read their reading books to build up fluency and discuss what they have read to develop their comprehension skills.


Useful websites to support phonics at home