Primary School

Learning and Growing Together

Phonics and Spellings

Recognition to Thursby from Minister for Schools January 2024


We place high priority on learning to read at an early age.  

Our children start to appreciate the rich world Reading brings from entering our Nursery and Reception unit within school.


Our vision is that teaching phonics and reading is accessible to all our children regardless of their background or ability including the weakest readers, so that all children leave Thursby School as fluent, proficient readers who also read for both purpose and pleasure. 


At Thursby, we follow the Little Wandle scheme. Prior to using the scheme we followed the DFE Letters and Sounds and Little Wandle is closely aligned to this, which has supported a smooth transition over to Little Wandle.  Little Wandle is a robust scheme which is followed rigidly and supports SEND pupils to make progress alongside their peers at all abilities. 

Further Phonics support in Key Stage 2 is given to those pupils who require 'keep up' support. This is based on assessment criteria from Little Wandle and forms a short and snappy, 3 times a week, phonics keep up group each week in Key Stage 2. Once children have completed Phase 5 successfully, they will move on to focusing on their spellings in line with the school's Spelling Shed program. 


Phonics Check in Year 1

The Government introduced a Year 1 'Phonics Screening Check' to ascertain children's attainment in reading phonetically by the end of Year 1. This check consists of 40 words children need to read, of which 20 of them are known words and 20 of them are classed as 'nonsense' words that would need to be sounded out by the child. 

The check is set at what's called 'Phase 5' expectations of ability. 

The pass mark has remained over the years at 32/ 40 accurate. Those children who do not reach 32 marks will be re-tested at the end of Year 2 to see how far they have progressed. Children requiring continuation of phonics beyond Year 2 will have additional sessions within the class in key stage 2. 

The test takes place in June and is invigilated by Governors/Senior Teachers. The results of the Phonics Screening check will be included in the annual end of Year 1 report to parents. 

It is very important that the check is not seen as a 'test' and that children are not seen as 'failing' if they do not meet the pass mark. 


Phonics outcomes 

1 pupil equates to 6-7% each year approximately 

Academic Year

Pass rate

Summer 2022 (Year 1)


Autumn term 2021 (Year 2)


Summer 2021 (Year 2)









Across school we value the importance of vocabulary and accuracy of spellings. We follow as a minimum the Government's spelling list of the National Curriculum from Year 1 to Year 6. 

In Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) we have implemented from September 2022 the Spelling Shed spelling program which supports developing accuracy and understanding of spelling based on pupils' needs. It also assesses their knowledge in order to support teacher's planning and teaching of spelling moving forward. 

Our Phonics and Early Reading Policy

National Curriculum Spelling expectations