Ashurst Wood Primary School
Ashurst Wood Primary School
Ashurst Wood Primary School
Ashurst Wood Primary School


What is phonics?

Phonics is one method of teaching children how to read and write.


Phonics is all about sounds. There are 44 sounds in the English language, which we put together to form words. Some are represented by one letter, like 't', and some by two or more, like 'ck' in duck and 'air' in chair. Children are taught the sounds first, then how to match them to letters, and finally how to use the letter sounds for reading and spelling.


Synthetic phonics refers to 'synthesising' or blending the sounds to read words. It is based on the idea that children should sound out unknown words and not rely on their context.

At Ashurst Wood we use a scheme called 'Bug Club' to support the teaching of synthetic phonics. The children revise learnt sounds and are taught a new sound every day. This is done through carefully planned lessons using an interactive approach where all children are engaged in the lesson. 

How can I help my child at home?


Reading at home is one of the most important ways you can support your child. Here are some ways you can help.


Try to create a relaxed reading atmosphere. Establish a regular time and place to read and ensure the surroundings are as calm as possible. If your child doesn't feel like reading, offer to read to them instead. Be positive about reading!


  • Children don't have to read with you. It can be very motivating for them to read with siblings, grandparents or friends.
  • Talk to your child about the books they are reading. Before reading, challenge your child to be a book detective: look at the book cover and see if they can guess what the book will be about or what type of book it is. As you read together, talk about what is happening in the book, what might happen next, and anything that has puzzled them. When your child finishes a book, ask them whether they liked it or not and encourage them to explain why.
  • Help your child engage with books by using them as an inspiration for play. At the back of every Bug Club book there are activities for children to do with you or their friends. You could also try acting out part of the story, or making something from the book.
  • Remember that reading a book is not the only reading your child will do. Encourage them to read signs, leaflets, recipes, instructions and so on. By reading these types of texts your child will often be reading without realising they are doing so!
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