We believe phonics is fundamental for early reading and writing. At Worsley Bridge Primary, we teach phonics using ‘Bug Club’ a Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) program validated by the DfE, with fully decodable print books, online e-books and resources. Our intention is to teach phonics in order for our children to be confident, fluent readers who choose to read a range of texts confidently, independently and with understanding. We also encourage reading as not just a tool to learn with but encouraged to develop a love of reading therefore ‘Reading for Pleasure’.



We have a consistent, structured approach to teaching phonics using daily Bug Club phonics lessons for all Reception and Key Stage 1 children.  

A phonics lesson includes an alphabet song, recapping on previously taught grapheme-phoneme correspondences, learning a new phoneme, blending phonemes for reading, segmenting spoken words for spelling and building into writing a sentence from dictation that includes phonemes previously learnt and the new phoneme. 

Bug Club Phonics is taught in phases. Children in Reception begin with consolidating Phase 1 and then move on to Phase 2 continuing to build upon the listening activities in Phase 1. The children are introduced to the start of systematic phonic work when they begin Phase 2. Grapheme-phoneme correspondence is introduced and the process of blending and segmenting whole words is taught. 

Phase 3 completes the teaching of the alphabet and then moves on to cover sounds represented by more than one letter (digraphs), learning one representation for each of the 44 phonemes. 

When children become secure, they continue into Phase 4 where they revisit sounds and start to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants. No new phonemes are introduced at this phase. 

In Phase 5 children broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these, alongside alternate grapheme patterns for sounds previously learnt. 

Progress is tracked through an ongoing teacher assessment and more formally at the end of each half term. Where the Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence has not been fully consolidated, children attend short, specific additional phonic sessions called ‘Keep Up’ sessions. These occur from the beginning of Autumn 2 in Reception and at the beginning of the year for each of the other year groups if required.  

Phase 6 focuses on spelling of words with prefixes and suffixes. 

Phonics displays in every class enable the children to apply taught knowledge and skills to decode unfamiliar words. Bug Club sound mats are used during lessons or during continuous provision, in all year groups 

Children take home books from the Bug Club programme which are closely matched to their phonic ability and are assigned books online which match their phonics level in Reception and KS1 (and in KS2 where children are receiving ‘keep up’ sessions to support their phonetic knowledge). They also take home a ‘reading for pleasure’ book. Children can change the latter daily. We encourage parents to read daily with their children, annotate home reading records which are monitored by the class staff weekly. 

 The spelling of high frequency and tricky words are taught continuously throughout the Bug Club phases. Assessment is continually reviewed to allow planning for any specific gaps and to ensure the children’s decodable reading books are in line with their phonics progress. 



Our aim is that children are in a position to read a variety of texts with independence and enjoyment preparing them well for their secondary school transition.  

We aim to develop a life-long love of reading encouraging ‘reading for pleasure’, from the moment children enter our EYFS phase at the start of their journey in education. We promote and enjoy reading daily out-loud to our children giving them the opportunity to lose themselves in the narratives being shared and enjoy the rich language provided within a text. 


Progression of skills and knowledge for phonics reading and spelling