At Bevois Town Primary, Pearson Bug Club is used to teach synthetic phonics.
Bug Club Phonics is a DfE validated phonics programme with an accessible and inclusive teaching approach at its heart. Bug Club Phonics is designed to keep the class together, leaving no child behind. At all stages, reading progress is assessed and gaps are immediately addressed to ensure every child secures strong phonics foundations.
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.
A graduated approach is used and children begin phonics as soon as they enter Reception class. Phonics is taught daily through a systematic approach. Children are taught within their class and any additional support required is delivered on a one to one basis or in small groups.
In Reception class children begin by developing an awareness of sounds through stories, rhymes and games. They quickly move on to learn the links between individual letters and their sounds. There are 44 different sounds to be learnt and again these are taught in a systematic way throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1.
There are children who will continue to be supported with phonics in Key Stage 2 and they will continue to access Bug Club Phonics.
All staff throughout the school have recently been trained in how to deliver this programme and they will continue to receive support as part of their ongoing CPD to deliver this phonics programme.
Within Early Years and KS1 classes, phonics is taught discreetly in a daily session that lasts 30 minutes. Children then apply their new skills through writing, reading books and playing phonics games from the Phonics Bug scheme which matches the sounds that they have previously learnt.
Teachers regularly assess children’s progress to check where they are and what they need to learn next. Pupils falling behind are quickly identified, using the Phonics Bug assessment resources and extra practice is given daily by experienced adults.