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Early Reading

At Mayflower we use Bug Club's systematic synthetic programme to deliver phonics and support early reading. Bug Club is a finely levelled, phonically based online reading scheme with interactive activities. The unique learning platform combines printed books with interactive e-books.

Bug Club Phonics is a firm foundation for phonics. Combining 100% decodable books with whole‑class teaching software, the programme has been researched and developed to deliver fast results.

  • Meets 100% of the DFE criteria for teaching systematic synthetic phonics and helps children succeed in the Phonics Screening Check.
  • 180 fiction and non‑fiction books, with beautiful artwork, humour and characters that children will love, and books and topics they really want to read.
  • Every phonics book is available as an allocatable tablet-friendly e-book that can be accessed from home and includes audio narration to help with pronunciation.
  • Each lesson begins with a short animation which allows children to hear the sound pronounced correctly and see how each letter is formed, providing the perfect introduction to each phoneme.

In systematic synthetic phonics the graphemes and corresponding phonemes are taught just before the introduction of words that contain these letters. To read these words, students are taught to pronounce the individual phonemes (sounds) associated with the graphemes (letters) they see, and then to blend them together (synthesise) to form the word.

The process is as follows:

• Children see a word, e.g. cat; it is not pronounced for them.

• They break it down into its individual letters (graphemes) and pronounce the corresponding sounds (phonemes) for each letter in turn: /c/ /a/ /t/

• Then they blend the separate phonemes together to form the word. This process is known as blending.

Systematic synthetic phonics teaches letter sounds very rapidly, explicitly showing children how to build up words with letters from the start, and always includes blending with printed words. Systematic synthetic phonics does not normally teach spelling, but Bug Club Phonics does teach spelling by reversing the reading process described above.

• The students say the first phoneme: /c/.

• The students write the corresponding grapheme: ‘c’.

• The students say the word again and say the next phoneme: /a/.

• They write the corresponding grapheme: ‘a’, and so on. This process is known as segmenting, and is followed by the children reading the word they have produced by sounding and blending.

In our approach, both blending for reading and segmenting for spelling are fully scaffolded.

We model for the students, how to sound and blend words for reading, but in each lesson students must attempt to sound and blend words for themselves to find out how they are pronounced.

We also model for the students how to segment for spelling and continue to scaffold the students through the process with each word they spell. This ensures that they identify each phoneme and choose the appropriate grapheme in turn, until the word is spelt.

Systematic synthetic phonics differs from analytic phonics in that in analytic phonics students are shown word families. For example, they may be introduced to the letter sound ‘c’, and then be shown a list of words all starting with the same letter sound, e.g. ‘cat, cake, cut, cup’. Sounding and blending starts when all the letters of the alphabet have been taught in the beginning, middle and final positions of words, whereas in systematic synthetic phonics this process starts after the first few letter sounds have been taught.

Phase 2 Phonics Progression

Phase 2 Phonemes and Letters

Set 1 - s a t p 

Set 2 - i n m d

Set 3 - g o c k 

Set 4 - ck e u r

Set 5 - h b f ff l ll ss  

Decodable/Not Decodable words

at, as

on, it, in, is dad

can, on, not, got, to 

mum, up, get, the, no, go

had, back, his, big, him, if, of, off, but, I, into, her

Teaching of Reading           

Sid's Nits

At a Tip, Tin Man Tim

Dig, Sid, Dig!, It is a...?

Sid's Pet Rat, Top Cat

Doll is Ill, Get the Map                                

Phase 2 Parent Support

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