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Clifton Hampden, Abingdon, OX14 3EE

01865 407 700

office.3183@clifton-hampden.oxon.sch.uk Email Us

Clifton Hampden

Phonics & Spelling

Welcome to the phonics section of our school website. This part of the school website aims to help you understand what your child is taught at school in phonics and how you can help at home.


Early Years & Key Stage One

At Clifton Hampden CE Primary School, we aim to develop confident, fluent and passionate readers and writers from an early stage. We use 'Essential Letters and Sounds' which is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP). Phonics is taught daily and we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represents sounds and that these are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise the different graphemes that they will see when they are reading or writing.

Our phonics teaching starts as soon as the children start in Reception and it follows a specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies. As a result, our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. 

We have a strong focus on the development of language and language skills for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.


How we teach phonics

At Clifton Hampden CE primary School we:

  • Follow Essential Letters and Sounds which has a four part lesson structure and teaching sequence (review, teach, practise, apply) which promotes independence, resilience and success in all our learners.
  • Teach children that phonics helps us to read and write.
  • Whole class teaching allows all children to access Quality First Teaching, catch up sessions and interventions are also provided for those children who need more practice and support.
  • Ensure that all phonics teaching is delivered with pace and passion.
  • Use 100% decodable books in phonics lessons so that children can directly apply their new knowledge and phonic skills at an appropriate level. We use a range of decodable books which have been carefully organised to match the sounds your child is learning.
  • Invite all parents to attend phonics and reading workshops to support their children with the development of their child’s phonics skills.
  • Classrooms are well resourced with phonic working walls and resources which are readily available empowering children to independently make correct spelling choices. 


Phonics and reading books

When the children are starting to learn the phonic code it is important that the books they read are closely matched to the letter sounds they are learning. The books should give the children confidence and help develop fluency, we want our children to feel confident and have a sense of achievement.

Children also have the opportunity to choose a quality picture book that they can share with an adult at home.


Phonics Information Evening

We hold a Phonics Information Evening for parents during the autumn term. The aim was to introduce Essential Letters and Sounds and provide support and guidance to our parents. 


Assessment of Phonics

We track our children throughout each Phonic Phase to monitor both achievement and progress. 

Our main emphasis on the assessment of phonics is on how effectively the children are able to apply their learning into reading and writing. This provides the evidence that the phonic learning is fully embedded.

If necessary, further support through targeted interventions is provided for children to enable them to keep up with the phonics programme.

Additional support for phonics is also put in place for those children in KS2 that still require support.

The lowest 20% of children are heard read at least once per week by a teacher or teaching assistant, in addition to the taught reading sessions. Many of these children are also supported through the Catch Up Literacy programme.


Phonics Screening Check

Year One Children participate in the Statutory Phonic Screening Check in the Summer Term.


Key Stage Two

From year 3 upwards children are encouraged to continue learning spelling patterns so that spelling becomes more accurate. If needed the children continue with learning sounds, sounding out to read  and spelling phonetically to encourage the children to become confident readers and writers!

Throughout the school we teach handwriting alongside phonics to try and encourage neat and joined handwriting so that they can earn a pen license!


How you can help at home

If you would like to help your child at home there are lots of things you can do:

Homework set can often include spellings which you can help your child to practise (remembering neat handwriting!)

Encourage your child to read, this can be any type of text from newspapers and magazines to road signs and shop names.

If your child asks you how to spell something either ask them to sound it out (key stage one children) or ask them if they know any spelling rules (keys stage two children)

Play games. There are lots of online games which you can play with your child or ask them to play independently. A list of these websites can be found below. (Please note these links will open in a new window)


Useful websites

Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl









If you have any questions about phonics teaching and how you can help at home, or if you want any further help or guidance please ask your child’s class teacher and we will be happy to help!

Clifton Hampden, Abingdon, OX14 3EE

01865 407 700