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John Bamford Primary


What is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language. Understanding phonics will also help children know which letters to use when they are writing words. Phonics is recommended as the first strategy that children should be taught in helping them learn to read. 

Phonics is all about learning the sounds that letters can make. There are 44 sounds (known as phonemes) in the English language, which we put together to form words and can be represented by up to four letters (known as graphemes), eg: ‘s’, ‘ck’, ‘air’ or ‘ough’. Children are taught the sounds first, then how to match them to letters and finally how to use the letter sounds for reading and spelling (known as the Grapheme, Phoneme Correspondence or GPC).

Phonics at our school

At The John Bamford Primary School, we use the multisensory systematic synthetic phonics programme Monster Phonics. Monster Phonics uses a colour coded grapheme system linked to monster characters which helps the children to recognise the long vowel sounds.

Introduction to Monster Phonics - YouTube


The resources are mapped against the Letters and Sounds phases 2-6 and the KS1 Spelling Curriculum. The colour-coded grapheme system is unique to Monster Phonics; each coloured grapheme is paired with a monster character that makes the same sound to give audio-visual prompts that help children ‘see’ each sound within a word and pronounce it correctly.


We follow the Monster Phonics programme in EYFS and Key Stage 1. The children have a daily Phonics lesson, full of exciting, purposeful, multisensory phonics teaching and learning experiences. The Monster Phonics intervention programme, resources and teaching strategies are also used across Key Stage Two. 

The Hook…







Year One Phonics Screening Check

At the end of Year One, all children will take part in the DfE Phonics Screening Check  which checks their phonics decoding knowledge. Monster Phonics helps to prepare the children for the screening check throughout the year. 

Click on the link below to have a look at an example test. Some words are made up (Alien) and others are real.

Phonics Example Test

National curriculum assessments: practice materials - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Phonics at home

Parents are invited to workshops in school to support the teaching of phonics at home and Monster Phonics also have some great information and resources on their website and Facebook pages.

Monster Phonics Actions

This video teaches the actions for each of the long vowel sounds, the tricky letters, the silent letters and the phonetic letters.



Monster Phonics Reading Scheme

Monster Phonics provides a complete, fully decodable reading scheme that follows the order of teaching. The Monster Phonics books are used from Reception to Year Two during Guided Reading sessions and are matched to children’s secure phonic knowledge. Parents are then encouraged to access the text that their child has read in class through the eBooks resource. Within the books the key/ focus grapheme is colour coded, there are word boxes to develop reading fluency and comprehension questions.


Please take a look at the Monster Phonics’ website to see how our curriculum is taught to your child(ren).  There are plenty of free downloadable resources.


Examples of the Monster Phonics reading can be accessed via the below link.


Monster Phonics also have two apps which you can install and use to help learn the sounds and high frequency words!

In addition to the Monster Phonics eBooks, children also take home a Big Cat book from our Reading Scheme and these are marked as ‘Sharing Book’. The Big Cat books have been aligned to the order of teaching of our Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme and are designed to best-fit the children’s phonic ability.