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At Meole Brace Primary School and Nursery we use a comprehensive and DfE approved programme Bug Club Phonics, to teach daily phonics lessons. Children learn to recognise the sounds that a letter or groups of letters make, and this allows them to blend sounds to read words and segment sounds to spell.

The Bug Club Phonics teaching programme is centred around an accessible and inclusive teaching approach. Evidence shows that working together fosters a sense of social inclusion for pupils and boosts the performance of those that may be progressing more slowly. It is one of the DfE’s approved systematic synthetic phonics programmes.

The authors of Bug Club Phonics were also the authors of the seven-year Clackmannanshire study that proved systematic synthetic phonics to be the most effective way to teach children to read. Bug Club Phonics offers a fully resourced systematic synthetic phonics programme based on a proven progression.

  • Provides activities for blending for reading and segmenting for spelling
  • Ready-made daily phonics lessons covering the Letters and Sounds GPCs
  • Features language sessions that teach ‘tricky’ common exception words
  • eBooks and digital games allocatable by phonic set
  • Includes books that practise previously taught GPCs

What is Systematic Synthetics Phonics (SSP)?

This is a common approach associated with the teaching of reading in which phonemes (sounds) associated with particular graphemes (letters) are pronounced in isolation and blended together (synthesised). For example, children are taught to take a single-syllable word such as cat apart into its three letters, pronounce a phoneme for each letter in turn, and blend the phonemes together to form a word. They will then progress to words containing digraphs (2 letters, 1 sound) such as chick ch-i-ck and then, trigraphs (3 letters, 1 sound) such as pair p-air.

Decodable Books and Texts for Children to Read

As well as saying sounds, spelling words using magnetic letters and practising the formation of letters, it is vital that children have access to ‘decodable’ books so they can practise their knowledge of phonemes and develop their blending skills. The Phonic Bug Club books that children take home to read have been carefully matched to link directly to the order that phonemes are taught in class.

Children will apply their phonic knowledge by creating words with magnetic letters before writing them.

Decodable books and texts that children read should run alongside or a little behind the teaching of the GPCs, so that they always feel a sense of achievement when they are asked to read such books.(DfE -The reading framework 2022)

Schools are advised to use this approach rather than children swiftly moving through book bands before they have been taught the phonemes within the text.


As well as individually reading to an adult in school,  children also have a weekly Guided Reading session with their teacher and these books are also fully ‘decodable’ texts. Children can also log-in online to access Bug Club phonics books selected for them by their teachers.