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Great Kimble Church of England School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust



I love learning new sounds in phonics, I can show my brother how to spell and we play the fun games at home...I think Bug makes reading fun! (Reception Child)


At Great Kimble we value reading and writing as a life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to be excited about reading. The teaching of reading has a high priority throughout our curriculum. 

This begins with the systematic teaching of phonics throughout EYFS and Key Stage 1, and for pupils in KS2 where needed. Through a structured and consistent approach to the teaching of phonics, pupils acquire phonic knowledge and develop key skills in segmenting and blending, where possible building on previous learning, to become a confident and fluent reader. They will apply this knowledge when reading carefully matched texts.

At Great Kimble we also value and encourage pupils to read for enjoyment and recognise this starts with the foundations of being exposed to a range of high-quality texts; through their own reading, a language rich reading environment and being read to regularly by adults.

We aim for children to read words and simple sentences by the end of EYFS, become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1 and develop a lifelong love of reading as they move through school, showing a greater understanding of more complex texts as they do so.


What does Phonics look like at Great Kimble?

We understand the importance of ensuring that every one of our pupils can read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities.  At Great Kimble, we follow the  Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) programme ‘Bug Club Phonics’. Bug Club Phonics enables us to teach phonics in a fast and engaging way so that all children become confident readers by the age of six. Bug Club Phonics matches the expectations of the national curriculum and the early learning goals. The order of grapheme introduction matches that recommended by the DfE’s Letters and Sounds programme and Bug Club Phonics provides inbuilt formative and summative assessment unit-by-unit and term-by-term. At Great Kimble, our programme develops pupils’ fluency and confidence by ensuring the readers they use to practice only include what they have already been taught.

We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build on the 30 minutes through well planned enhanced provision activities for children to apply their new phonics skills in their play. Each Friday, children take part in key language sessions which focus on irregular words, reading and writing captions based on the weeks learning.

Bug Club Phonics Lesson Structure

  • Introduce: Learning intentions and outcomes for the day are discussed at the start of the lesson.
  • Revisit and Review: Every phoneme session begins with revision to review previous learning. In Reception the revision is not just of the previous day’s target grapheme-phoneme correspondence, but also of blending for reading and segmenting for spelling of the relevant words. In Key Stage 1 the revision is sometimes a review of previous learning which links with the planned teaching for that day.
  • Teach: Every phoneme and language session is composed of teaching elements (e.g. sounds, reading, spelling etc.) which are easily navigated to structure the new phonic teaching. The teaching of grapheme−phoneme correspondences and high[1]frequency (common) words is covered.
  • Practice: Practise opportunities are available in the following areas: ‘Follow-up’ parts of the lessons, unit-linked pupil games, unit-linked photocopy masters, ‘free-teaching’ within the Magnetic Board, using individual magnetic boards and moving onto writing in individual Phonics books.
  • Apply: Language sessions provide opportunities to apply developing phonic skills to the reading, spelling and writing of captions and sentences. This application also covers irregular (not fully decodable) common words. In addition, the linked decodable readers allow regular application of children’s phonic skills, from as early as Unit 2 of Bug Club Phonics.
  • Assess: Ongoing formative assessment during the daily lessons and summative assessment at regular periods throughout the programme. The frequency of assessment opportunities means children’s needs can be identified the moment they become apparent, ensuring that no child gets left behind.

How does reading fit in?

At Great Kimble, we recognise the importance of children having access to fully decodable books that fit with the sequence of phonic teaching. Bug Club Phonics decodable readers have been written to match the order in which grapheme-phoneme correspondences are introduced in class, giving children the opportunity to practise their blending skills and to consolidate their knowledge. We provide the children with both printed books and eBooks and games. The eBooks are invaluable in helping pupils to practise reading at home as they include a phoneme pronunciation guide to aid pupils’ blending skills. Bug Club Phonics texts include fiction, comics and non-fiction. The Bug Club range includes plays and poetry. Both series are rich in vocabulary and help to develop language comprehension through engaging contexts, characters and storylines. The children are also encouraged to read and progress through the colour book bands when they have gained enough confidence and ability reading phonetically. 

We love singing the Bug Club Alphabet song in Reception!

Still image for this video


What you will see:

  • All children fully engaged in their learning.

  • Confident readers who are well equipped to have a go at a tricky text.

  • Children who enjoy reading and are keen to share this enjoyment with others

  • Children who can use their phonics knowledge to help them segment and blend words when reading and spelling.

How we know how well our pupils are doing:

  • Adults listen to all children read at least once a week.

  • Bug Club end of unit assessments highlight gaps and support the development of interventions.

  • Lowest 20% of readers are given extra reading support.

  • Phonics screening practices take place in Year 1 during the Spring term.

The impact of the teaching:

  • All children have an enjoyment of reading.

  • Children are confident in their ability to read familiar and unfamiliar texts and show the resilience to have a go.

  • By the end of KS1 all children have a solid phonic knowledge that will enable them to develop their reading and spelling as they progress through KS2.

  • Children are equipped with the tools they need to help them spell and read a variety of simple and tricky words.

  • The children meeting the required pass rate in the phonics screening test at the end of Year 1 is at least at national level and the same for those who take the phonics re-sit in Year 2.

  • Children entering KS2 who need extra support are highlighted early and interventions are developed to support their phonic gaps.


What do the Children of Great Kimble say about Phonics?


I like using magnetic letters when we are with Mrs. Hunt, I show Mummy how to spell at home (Reception Child)


I like playing at the  Bug Club phonics table, my favourite thing is the sound pebbles and making words with them. (Reception Child)


I think the letter videos are funny and I like using my magic finger to write them in the sky! Bug helps me sound out and I can do it so good now! (Reception Child)


I really like Bug Club Phonics, Sometimes I forget my sounds but we go over them so I remember, the Alphabet song is fun! I sing it at home. (Year 1 Child)


Phonics helps me learn to spell and our teacher makes it fun. (Year 1 Child)


I like reading my bug club books at home, my Daddy listens to me. Bug Club helps my spelling and reading. (Year 2 Child)


Bug Club Phonics Progression

Support for Parents

All you need to know about phonics - Bug Club Phonics

Sophie Thomson, Head of English and extended curriculum at Pearson, explains on this video the basics of phonics, how they work and provides practical guidan...