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 Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds (phase 1 and 2) and progressing through to the most complex (phase 5) – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7.

Almost all those who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and most importantly to read for enjoyment. 

Our aim is that pupils at Dunston Primary and Nursery Academy will secure automatic decoding skills and progress from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’ for purpose and pleasure.

The scheme used in school is LCP phonics. Staff follow and adapt these plans to meet the needs of our pupils in a practical and engaging way. Pupils work in small, streamed groups daily to help ensure individual needs are met.


Children are taught how to:

— recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;

— identify (‘segment’) the sounds that different combinations of letters go together to make - such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’;

blend all these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

use their phonic knowledge to both read and write words


At the end of Year 1, children’s phonic knowledge is assessed using the Phonics Screening Check. This is a short, simple assessment to make sure that all pupils have learned phonic decoding to an appropriate standard by the age of 6. All Year 1 pupils in maintained schools, academies and free schools must complete the check.

The phonics check will help teachers identify the children who need extra help so they can receive the support they need to improve their reading skills. These children will then be able to retake the check in Year 2.