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Daisyfield Primary School

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Welcome to our Phonics page.

How we teach phonics


Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and write by blending and segmenting individual sounds. Every letter and different combinations of letters make particular sounds for example the letter ‘s’ makes a hissing like a snake sound. At Daisyfield we follow the Oxford University Press, Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) programme.

Please click on this link which will take you to our Curriclulm page. Here you can find useful videos and information about ELS.

Alongside ELS we use the Letter Join Program to help develop letter formation (see the images at the bottom of the page for how we form our letters in EYFS (print) and KS1 (Year 1 - pre cursive and Year 2 onwards - cursive). 



Children throughout Reception and Key stage 1 take part in daily phonics sessions. These sessions focus on key reading skills such as decoding to read words and segmenting the sounds in a given word to spell. During Phonics lessons we also teach children to read and write ‘tricky words’. These are words that you cannot sound out and children are just expected to remember how to read and write.  


Key terms we use in our teaching:


Digraph – two letters make one sound (e.g. sh, ch, ai, ea, ou, ow).

Trigraph – three letters make one sound (e.g. igh, ear, air, ure).

Split digraph – two letters make one sound but the letters have been split apart by another letter. (e.g. the a - e sound in cape)

Phoneme – a single unit of sound

Grapheme – a written letter, or group of letter that represent a sound.

Consonants – b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z

Blend – to put or merge the sounds together to make a word (e.g. the sounds d-o-g are blended to the word ‘dog’.)

Segment – to break down the word into its individual sounds to spell (e.g cat can be split into the sounds c-a-t.).

Sound talk – a method of segmenting words, saying each sound on a finger (starting with the thumb) and putting it on your chin, as you say it.


How you can help at home


  • Reading every night at home with your child

Every week each child will be sent home a phonics decodable book at their reading level. Read these with your child and ask them questions about the story.

  • Practise reading and writing tricky words

If children know these they are more likely to gain speed and fluency in their reading. 

  • Practising handwriting

It is important children are forming their letters the correct way round. Ask your teacher for the A - Z of letter formation sheet, so you know how the letters are formed at Daisyfield and in your child's year group.

  • Log into Oxford Owl

Every child in school can access Oxford Owl, which gives you access to interactive phonetical books and games. Ask your teacher if you need these details again.

  • Phonics Games. See the links below.


  • For parents: reading stories to children

10 top tips for parents to support children to read.

Your child will bring home two books. One is for your child to read to you. It has been carefully chosen so that they can work out all the words. The other book has words your child may not be able to read yet. It is for you to read to your child and talk about together.

How to read a story to your child

If you can find the time beforehand, read the read-aloud book to yourself first, so you can think about how you’re going to read it to your child. On the first reading:

• Make reading aloud feel like a treat. Make it a special quiet time and cuddle up so you can both see the book.

• Show curiosity about what you’re going to read: ‘This book looks interesting. It’s about an angry child. I wonder how angry he gets…’

• Read through the whole story the first time without stopping too much. Let the story weave its own magic.

• Read with enjoyment. If you’re not enjoying it, your child won’t.


Read favourite stories over and over again.

On later readings:

• Let your child pause, think about and comment on the pictures.

• If you think your child did not understand something, try to explain: ‘Oh! I think what’s happening here is that…’

• Chat about the story and pictures: ‘I wonder why she did that?’; ‘Oh no, I hope she’s not going to…’; ‘I wouldn’t have done that, would you?’

• Link the stories to your own family experiences: ‘This reminds me of when …’

• Link stories to others that your child knows: ‘Ah! Do you remember the dragon in ….? Do you remember what happened to him?’

• Encourage your child to join in with the bits they know.

• Avoid asking questions to test what your child remembers.

• Avoid telling children that reading stories is good for them.





Please click on the link below to go to the Reading page and you can find out how to help your child achieve their Reading Award.

Letterjoin handwriting formation examples

Please click on the link to take you to the Handwriting Parent page.

Phonics Resources