The teaching of phonics is a high priority at Castleward Spencer Academy. We have dedicated daily phonics sessions throughout the Foundation Stage and KS1, embedding the core skills of segmenting and blending. We ensure consistency in our approach through adopting a well-researched and proven systematic synthetics phonics program, Bug Club Phonics. This is underpinned by outstanding teacher subject knowledge, rigorous assessment, high levels of pupil engagement and achievement, progression and challenge, and a core expectation that pupils master the skills necessary to become competent when reading, writing and spelling.


Teaching Approach

At Castleward Spencer Academy, we follow the five phases of Letters and Sounds. The Letters and Sounds resource was published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007 and aims to develop children’s speaking and listening skills, as well as prepare them for learning to read and spell by developing their phonic knowledge and skills through a detailed and systematic programme.

As a school, we implement this guidance through the use of Bug Club Phonics, which is a dedicated phonics strand of Bug Club, a core reading programme that can be used for independent and guided reading from Reception to Year 6. The programme is a balanced approach to the teaching of reading using systematic synthetic phonics as outlined in Letters and Sounds. It simultaneously teaches the segmentation of words for spelling, and develops phonemic awareness skills.