Primary School

Learning and Growing Together

Phonics and Spellings


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. At Thursby, we follow Letters and Sounds and achieve good results over the years as we follow this programme consistently from Early Years through to the end of Key Stage 1. Further Phonics support in Key Stage 2 we use the Bounce-back phonics programme, which has supported pupils during Covid19 school disruption successfully. 


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 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. 



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 the Spell to Excel 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. 

National Curriculum Spelling expectations