Ludgershall Castle Primary School

Home Page

Ludgershall Castle Primary School

Home Page

Home Reading Help

Reading and Phonics Parents' Session 


On Monday 11th March 2024 we invited the parents of EYFS and KS1 children into school for a Reading and Phonics Session. We were amazed with how many parents took the time to come and listen to how best support their children at home and we hope that you found the session useful and thank you again for coming. As a reminder for what was discussed and to help any parents that were unable to attend we hope you find the summary of the information shared below useful. 


Still image for this video

Phonics Lessons 


During the session we shared some of the ways in which we help children to learn the vast number of sounds and spellings that make up the English language. Here are some of the key points discussed. 


  • Letters are introduced as symbols. In YR we introduce single letter spellings as symbols for the sound they most commonly are used to spell. You can review the pronunciation of the pure sounds by visiting our video resource centre. We play a simple game of putting the symbols in a grid and asking the children to search for the symbol/spelling of the sound they hear. This helps them to make a link to the symbol/ sound relationships and in turn be able to read words containing these. 


  • Once a number of sounds have been learnt we then teach the children to read and spell these by segmenting (breaking words down into the individual sounds) and blending (saying the sounds together as a word). We do this using word building or word puzzle lessons. Below is a video of how this is taught in class and can be used at home too. Some of the most important things to remember are pointing to each sound and then running your finger along the whole word to prompt the child to blend the whole word. This is used to read and spell words with sounds that are represented with one, two, three or more letter spellings as shown below. 


Fish - word building

Two letters/one sound - writing

  • When reading and spelling words that are longer we break the words down into bigger chunks called syllables and focus on the sounds that make up the syllables. For example when reading the word fantastic encourage your child to read the sounds until they hear a part that makes sense (a syllable). They would read f - a -n and hear 'fan', next encourage them to do the same with the rest of the word. Fan t - a -s 'tas' and finally the last syllable fan tas t - i -c 'tic'. Finally ask them to read each syllable in order fan-tas-tic and then quicker altogether - fantastic. 

We will send home reading books that match your child's sound knowledge and understanding that is slightly behind the level that we are covering in daily phonics lessons in class. This is to help children feel confident with what they are reading as it is familiar to them. At times books will include spellings that your child may not have learnt yet. It is useful for you to help them by either saying the sounds for them and explaining that this is a sound that they haven't learnt yet but in this word this spelling is, and telling them the sound it is representing. For commonly used words such as 'the' or 'is' you can tell your child to say 'the' when they see the word 'the'. Similarly if your child forgets a sound for a spelling - filling in the gaps and telling them the missing sound and then asking them to read the word again is the best support for them. 


The most common phrase we use as a school when reading is: 

"Say the sounds and read the word" 

Children will be used to hearing this and being supported by pointing at which part says each sound. All of the above can be seen demonstrated in this video. 

Reading a decodable story with Max

In this video, I show you how to help your child to read a decodable story. We are reading 'Sam's pip' on of the stories for beginner readers in the Sounds-Write program

Reading Unknown Words 


What strategies can I use to help my child?


uBlending sounds.
uLooking for clues in pictures.
uSplitting the words into smaller parts or syllables.
uSpotting if the word looks like a word you already know.
uReading to the end of the sentence then going back to see if you can work the word out and predict it’s meaning.
uFor words with sounds they don’t know fill in the gaps.
u Common words such as ‘the’ teach as a whole word until code is taught.

Helpful Resources 


There is an app created by Sounds Write that you can download for an iPad on the app store in which children can play games similar to the lessons in school to help with their learning. This can be found here: Sounds Write App




Pure sounds videos - we have created a video to match each unit that models the correct way to say all the sounds in the Inital Code taught in YR. 


Unit 1.wmv

Still image for this video

 Comprehension bookmarks - It is great when children can read fluently and learn all the code quickly. The next step is to develop their understanding of what they have read. Please find below electronic copies of bookmarks designed to match each year groups expectation on understanding. If you would like your child to have a copy of the bookmark matching their year group please message your child's class teacher and we will get one made up to be sent home with your child. 



Phonics Play Website - A website with lots of fun games to play with a wide range of sounds. These are not in the order that we teach at school but some of the games in particular 'Buried Treasure', 'Picnic on Pluto' and 'Dragons Den' are great for practising reading real and made up words in preparation for the Phonics Screening Test in Year 1. The sounds included in this will be up to phase 5. 


Sounds Write Parents' Course - This is a great free tool with lots of on demand video that will explain Sounds Write Phonics as we use in school in lots of detail and how to support your child. It can be started and stopped and then picked up at a later date and takes around just over an hour to complete. 

Free Decodable Books - You can download free books to match the units being taught in school in a PDF version by signing up here. 

Sounds Write Podcast - There is an episode of the Sounds Write Podcast aimed for Parents and Carers that can be listened to on the above link or by searching for it on your music streaming platform such as Spotify. It includes some helpful tips on how to read with your child and about phonics in general. 

If you require any more help or have any questions about reading at home with your child please contact your child's class teacher. Thank you for your ongoing support with helping children at Ludgershall Castle Primary become better readers.