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Phonics Bug, Pearson

Making phonics fun!

Brookfield Infant School

Age Range
Early years5-77-11

Stimulating phonics sessions motivate children and make learning fun.

Key points to take it away

  • Suitable for small groups or whole-class teaching sessions.
  • Interactive games and activities allow children to actively participate in their learning.
  • High pupil retention of phonics teaching.

Why Phonics Bug?

Sue Feneron, Head of Early Years at Brookfield Infant School, wanted to improve overall performance particularly in reading. Around one third of the children had reading ages below their chronological ages and were struggling with phoneme and grapheme recognition.

Background — finding the right phonics programme

With the introduction of Bug Club, children within Key Stage 1 were becoming actively involved and engaged with their reading. As the Head of Early Years, along with other members of the school management, we decided that the Foundation Stage classes should also become involved with the same style of engaging and stimulating learning when it came to phonics. We had been concerned about the performance of some of our children, so I followed the progress of five children within my Foundation Stage class using Phonics Bug.

We used a number of different phonics programmes to deliver three phonemes per week. Over a year, we monitored our children’s reading ages. It became apparent that around one third were unable to recall phoneme/grapheme recognition, and were disappointingly at a level the same as, or below, their chronological age.

The selected children had been unable to retain the phonemes taught previously; our assessments showed that all of them could neither recall single sounds nor recognise the corresponding graphemes.

Phonics Bug creates stimulating phonics sessions

We have been delighted with the success of using Phonics Bug! It has enabled the children to access fast-paced and stimulating phonics sessions using computers, a medium which reflects their popular culture. Phonics Bug introduces the children to fun, animated characters combined with clips of CBeebies videos. We have been able to use it with smaller groups along with whole-class teaching sessions, using a range of aural, visual and kinaesthetic phonic activities.

“Just one more time.”

These Phonics Bug sessions became an instant success with our group of young children and appealed to them all. We found that the teaching programmes, interactive games and fun activities enabled every child to be involved and actively participate within their learning.

Many complained that the session had ended and begged to repeat it; “Just one more time, Mrs Feneron, please!” – no mean feat with five year olds.

“We have been delighted with the success of using Phonics Bug.”

We continued to introduce three sounds per week to our sample group, with every child continuing to look forward to each and every session.

The outcome — the results have been fantastic

All of the children who used Phonics Bug retained 100% of the phonemes they were taught. They have been empowered to apply their newly acquired phonic skills to all aspects of their reading and writing. One child said “I can read now, and write – sounds are fun now.”

“I can read now, and write — sounds are fun now.”

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