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Howitt Primary Community School

Achieve, Care, Enjoy

Phonics and Spellings

At Howitt Primary School, we use a systematic synthetic phonics programme to teach children in the Early Years and Key Stage 1. We follow the Twinkl phonics programme which is a phonics teaching programme approved by the DfE. Phonics is the knowledge of letters and the sounds they make. It uses the skills of blending sounds together to read words, segmenting the sounds in a word and choosing the correct letters to spell words. 

In Key Stage 1, children also have common exception words to learn alongside their letters and sounds spellings. Common exception words are words in which the English spelling code works in an unusual or uncommon way. They are not words for which phonics 'doesn't work', but they may be exceptions to spelling rules, or words which use a particular combination of letters to represent sound patterns in a rare or unique way.


In Key Stage 2, all children are taught their year group spellings with guidance from The National Curriculum. Where necessary, extra phonics lessons will continue in Key Stage 2 to support the development of children's reading and spelling skills.

Children in Key Stage 2 also have statutory spelling words to learn alongside their year group spellings. Years 3 and 4 have a set of statutory spelling words and Years 5 and 6 have a set of statutory spelling words. These words have been divided up over a two year cycle so that children can learn a few of these words each half term. In class, children will learn the meaning and the spelling of these words and will be encouraged to use them in their writing.