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Phonics at Kensington Community Primary School 


At Kensington Primary school, reading is a priority. We are passionate about ensuring that all children become confident, fluent and enthusiastic readers. We believe that phonics provides the foundations to ensure that children can confidently access and comprehend a wide variety of genres and text types. We believe that the ability to decode words and, subsequently, understand texts allows children to thrive in all areas of the curriculum.


At Kensington Community Primary School we use Monster Phonics. Monster Phonics is a DfE validated, multisensory approach, designed to create interest and engagement for children, allowing all children to access and succeed in Systematic Synthetic Phonics lessons. Monster Phonics is an award-winning phonics programme mapped against Letters and Sounds and the Key Stage 1 Spelling Curriculum. It allows for consistency of phonics teaching across the school. This scheme groups the different letters and sounds into ‘phases’ which are then taught in a systematic way. 

We teach whole class phonics sessions from reception to year 2. Children who need extra support with phonics in order to meet the expected standard take part in carefully considered, small intervention groups to enable them to make rapid progress to build on the letters and sounds that they already know and fill the gaps that they have. All of our sessions are fast paced, creative and fun as this is what we believe the key to effective phonics teaching and learning is. Our younger nursery children are immersed in a multi-sensory, language rich environment with lots of stories, songs, reading, communication and language and sounds work.

In key stage 2, children who are still unable to decode words fluently are supported through separate phonics tasks during Reading Mastery 5, using the Monster Phonics resources and intervention material. Where extra support is necessary, children receive 1:1 flashcard interventions throughout key stage 1 and 2.  

Pupils have regular reading sessions with an adult to ensure they are regularly practising and applying their phonics knowledge. This includes extra one-to-one reading for those children who are most vulnerable to enable them to catch up to meet age related expectations. Teachers also ensure that, where necessary, each child’s home reader is fully decodable so that children can practice and embed their skills, as well as allowing home reading to be a celebration of children reading to parents independently. In the EYFS, the continuous provision matches children’s current knowledge and understanding whilst ensuring the children are suitably challenged.

Teachers regularly assess children’s phonics knowledge using Phonics Tracker – an instant assessment and tracking program that is used by staff to carefully track phonics progress across Reception, KS1 and KS2 (where needed).


  • Through the teaching of systematic phonics our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of year 1.
  • Children enjoy and have confidence in their phonics learning. They will transfer these skills to support their reading for pleasure and writing.
  • Children know more, remember more and understand more about Phonics, demonstrating this knowledge in all areas of the curriculum involving reading and writing.
  • The majority of children will achieve age related expectations in Phonics and this will be assessed through EYFS data and the Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1.
  • Parents have a clear understanding of how phonics is taught throughout the school and the impact it is having on their children. They will also understand how to further support their children with this learning at home.
  • All staff teaching phonics consistently use the correct vocabulary, lesson structure and teaching techniques to ensure all children’s needs are being met in a fair and consistent way.


What is phonics?

Phonics is a method of teaching children to read by linking sounds (phonemes) and the symbols that represent them (graphemes, or letter groups).

The 26 letters of the alphabet and combinations of these letters make 44 speech sounds in English.

The 44 sounds (phonemes) are spelt by 144 different letter combinations (graphemes). For example, the sound O is spelt 6 different ways: o (no), o-e (home), oa (boat), ow (snow), oe (toe) and ou (though).

Traditional ways of learning to spell can be time-consuming and for some children they are ineffective.

At Kensington Community Primary School we teach phonics using a systematic phonics programme called Monster Phonics.

What is the Phonic Screening Check?

All Year one children are formally assessed in June by an unseen government Phonic Screening Check.  The children are asked to decode forty words, twenty real words and twenty ‘alien words’. At Kensington, we ensure we make the phonics screening check a relaxed and fun experience for the children. Results of this screening check are reported to parents.  Any child who does not reach the expected standard in Year One will receive further support and repeat the check in Year Two. Children who require further phonics support throughout key stage 2 receive this through carefully considered intervention groups.

What is Monster Phonics?

Monster Phonics makes learning to read and spell through phonics easier, by categorising the 44 sounds into 10 categories and each of these 10 categories are represented by a Monster.  Each Monster is a different colour, and this colour represents that way of spelling the sound.  This makes learning to read and spell much easier and more fun.

Meet the monsters: 

We also use the Monster Phonics Reading Scheme. Your child may bring home a Monster Phonics book to help them practise the sounds that they have been learning in school on that particular week.

Monster Phonics books are matched to the phonics that we teach in school. The stories help children to practise what they have learnt phonetically and also instil a love of reading. Research shows that reading for enjoyment is an important predictor for children’s educational success. We recommend that reading is an integral part of your daily routine. If on any one day you have time for nothing else… then read, read, read!

Useful links for Monster Phonics: 


Phonics and the IB Learner Profile 

Revisit and Review
































Kensington Community Primary School