Godinton Primary School



The importance of phonics


Word-reading is one of the essential dimensions of reading; the other is comprehension.  Skilled word-reading involves working out the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and recognising familiar printed words. Underpinning both of these is the understanding that letters represent the sounds in spoken words. Fluent decoding supports pupils’ comprehension, because they don’t have to devote mental energy to individual words.  A good grasp of phonics is also important for spelling, contributing to fluency and confidence in writing. 

Phonics is the method of teaching reading and writing by correlating sounds with letters or groups of letters.  There are 44 sounds (phonemes) in the English language which we put together to form words.  These sounds are spelt by 144 different letter combinations (graphemes). Some sounds are represented by one letter like the ‘t’ in tin, whilst other sounds are represented by two or more letters like ‘ck’ in duck. Some sounds can be spelt in different ways, for example, the sound ‘a’ is spelt several different ways, including ay (play) and ai (train). Children are taught the sounds, how to match them to letters and finally how to use the letter sounds for reading and spelling.

To enable our children to flourish and succeed in life, it is important we get the fundamental building blocks correct.  We start teaching phonics in Reception; lessons are taught through the Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme, Monster Phonics, and begin at the start of the academic year.  Monster Phonics uses  10 monsters to catergorise all sounds into 10 simple areas. Each monster has a different colour which represents the way of spelling the sound.

Children in Reception and years 1 and 2 have a daily Monster Phonics lesson. This is alongside other reading activities, such as story time and guided reading sessions, help to ensure that our children develop a love of reading and become avid, enthusiastic readers. Children use Monster Phonics books in their guided reading sessions in class and we provide access to free Monster Phonics online Ebooks for all children to use at home. Each week, your child's teacher will let you know which sound the children are learning and which books to look at online. These books are in addition to the children's colour coded reading books that they will bring home to read with you. This way, the children have access to a wide variety of reading material which will help to develop their early reading skills.

As part of our Guiding Stars curriculum, Reading, Phonics and Writing are the leading light subjects for ‘Communication’.

Within our English curriculum, the children develop an understanding of the needs of an audience and respond accordingly. They become confident to use the written or spoken word, to share ideas and thoughts or to entertain, report or explain, setting the page alight with ideas. The children develop a desire to expand their vocabulary and to enrich how they write and speak, trying to find the right words for the right situation. They learn how to improve their work and are happy to listen to or respond to suggestions. We want our children to have a love of literature and find enjoyment in the written or spoken word of others.

Click on the Communication icon below to find out more about how the children’s understanding of communication progresses throughout these curriculum areas.


To find out more about phonics teaching at Godinton, please click on the link below. Please click here to be taken to our reading curriculum page.



The resources and information below, are available to help parents in supporting their child's understanding of phonics and reading. Every autumn we hold a phonics information evening for parents, where we talk you through how phonics is taught at Godinton and share ideas for helping your child at home. An information pack is sent home to all parents with children in Years R, 1 and 2 to help get you started. 







Further information about Monster Phonics can be found at: https://monsterphonics.com/

Monster Phonics provide webinars for parents, please have a look at the website for further information.

Below you can find a link to a list of online Monster Phonics videos to help parents in supporting their child's phonics knowledge. This includes a useful video which shows how each sound is pronounced.