Granby Primary School

Ready, Respectful, Safe


Bug Club Phonics

At Granby, we use Pearson Education's Bug Club Phonics to help your child learn to read. This is one of the Department for Education's approved phonics teaching programmes, which aims to help all children in the school learn to read by the age of six in a fun and accessible way. It is closely matched to the National Curriculum and Early Learning Goals and also links directly with Pearson's comprehensive Bug Club reading resources, meaning that children's school reading books are matched closely to their current phonic ability.


Bug Club Phonics features a multi-sensory approach, which caters for all learning styles. The program follows an approach of synthesising the phonemes associated with the graphemes that a child sees, or to put it another way: learning to read by blending the sounds associated with the letters a child sees.  The programme is the product of extensive research on the best way to teach children to read.


This approach begins with our youngest children in the Nursery, who are taught Phase 1 synthetic phonics, as well as following a comprehensive communication and language programme of study: GL Assessment's WellComm Speech and Language Toolkit. Children also learn to read both decodable and non-decodable high frequency words by sight.  We call these our 'everyday words'.


Reading and writing strategies and chants are taught to aid independent application:

  • Reading decodable words - "We are reading 1, 2, 3. Look, sound and blend with me."
  • Reading non-decodable words - "We see the word, we say the word."
  • Writing words - "We say the word, we chop the word and we write the word."

Phonics Teaching

Phonics is a crucial part of the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One as it gives children the skills to become confident and independent readers and writers. All children have daily discrete phonics sessions, which focus on phonics, high frequency words and support early reading development. Phonics is taught in six phases:



Phase One focuses on communication and language, teaching children everyday sounds; rhythm and rhyme; alliteration; and how to orally segment and blend. It consists of seven interlinking parts:

  • environmental sounds
  • instrumental sounds
  • body percussion
  • rhythm and rhyme
  • alliteration [words that begin with the same sound]
  • voice sounds
  • oral blending and segmenting



Phase Two focuses on learning all single phonemes, matching them to graphemes and teaching children how to read and write them in words. Children begin to blend sounds to make words. By the end of Phase Two, children will be able to read some vowel-consonant [VC] and consonant-vowel-consonant [CVC] words, e.g. up, in, cat and pin.

Phase Three focuses on learning simple digraph and trigraph sounds and using these when reading and writing words and sentences, e.g. "igh", "oo", "ear" and "er". Children will learn to blend these graphemes for reading in one-syllable and two-syllable words. Children will also learn to read and write captions and sentences with these letters.

Phase Four focuses on learning adjacent consonants in words, e.g. "fl", "pr", "cr" and "st". This is first introduced in Phase Two so that children begin to familiarise themselves with adjacent consonant blends. It is also integrated throughout all of the other phases.


Year One

Phase Four phonics teaching is revised at the start of Year 1 to consolidate children’s knowledge. Children also move on to blending and segmenting using adjacent consonants, e.g. "st", "bl" and "tr"in words such as string, blow and train.

Phase Five focuses on learning alternative digraph and trigraph sounds and applying these when reading and writing words and sentences, e.g. "ie", "ph", "oe" and "ai".


Year Two

Phase Five phonics teaching is revised at the start of Year 2 before moving onto learning spelling rules and patterns, using both Bug Club Phonics and the Headstart spelling programme. Within Phase Five, children broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes to apply in their reading and writing. They will learn to read words with alternative pronunciation of graphemes and words with two and three syllables. Children will learn to choose the appropriate grapheme when writing words and learn to write two-syllable words, three-syllable words and polysyllabic words.

Phase Six completes children's phonics teaching. As they are becoming fluent readers and more accurate spellers, they learn more spelling patterns such as the use of prefixes and suffixes; contracted forms of words, e.g. can’t and won’t; and other words in common usage such as days of the week. At this stage, children can read many words automatically and are now reading for pleasure and reading to learn, rather than learning to read. They can decode words quickly and silently and only need to sound out longer or more unfamiliar words.

Phase One Phonics Knowledge Organiser

Phase Two Phonics Knowledge Organiser

Phase Three phonics Knowledge Organiser

Phase Four Phonics Knowledge Organiser

Phase Five Phonics Knowledge Organiser

Phase Six Phonics Knowledge Organiser

Sample clips of a typical Reception Bug Club phonics lesson at Granby.

The alphabet song.

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Quick write [previously learnt phonemes].

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Introduction of new phoneme.

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Reading with the new phoneme.

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Spelling with the new phoneme.

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Application - writing words with the new phoneme.

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Applicatuion - writing sentences with the new phoneme.

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Phonics Assessments

All children complete a baseline phonics assessment at the beginning of each academic year and at regular intervals throughout the year. These internal assessments are used to identify any gaps in children’s learning. As a result of this, some children will receive additional daily phonics intervention outside of their normal phonics lessons, continuing into Year Two if necessary.


Year One Phonics Screening Check

Every year in June, the government publishes a national phonics assessment for all Year One children to complete. The aim of this is to check that children have made expected progress in phonics. Children are required to read a total of 40 words, which are a mixture of real and nonsense or 'alien' words. Those who do not meet the required standard in Year One are assessed again at the end of Year Two.


If you wish, you can use the materials found by following the link below to practise this with your child:


The reading books your child brings home are designed to support them with practising and consolidating the learning they have done in school. They also enable children to experience the pleasure and pride of reading their own books. All the books in Bug Club Phonics are finely graded to ensure that every child can read a book at exactly the right level for them. What's more, there are online versions of every printed title and a personalised website for every child in EYFS and Key Stage 1.


Further information about learning to read with Bug Club Phonics, including instructions of how to access your child's reading website, can be found here:


In Nursery and Reception, handwriting follows standard, non-cursive letter formation, which is taught using Twinkl letter formation aids:

ladder lettersl, i, u, t, y and j
one armed robot lettersn, m, h, k, b, p and r
curly caterpillar lettersc, a, d, e, s, g, f, q and o
zigzag monster lettersv, w, x and z


Cursive handwriting teaching begins in Year One during bespoke handwriting lessons. Cursive handwriting is also modelled by the teacher or assistant teacher as an 'option' during daily phonics lessons.  

Phonics Progression Map

The attached document provides an overview of which phonemes are taught in each of the six phases of the Bug Club Phonics programme of study.

Phonics Glossary

A glossary of terms to help you understand the language associated with the teaching of phonics.

Interactive Phoneme Chart

Click on the picture below to access an interactive phoneme chart.  Click on the letter or group of letters [graphemes] to hear the corresponding sounds [phonemes].

Useful Phonics Websites

All You Need to Know About Bug Club Phonics

A short, six-minute video introducing Bug Club Phonics for children and their families.