Phonics and Reading
At Emsworth Primary we use a reading programme called Bug Club Phonics.
Key information about the scheme and how you can support your child is detailed below:
Learning to read
We have chosen to use the Bug Club Phonics programme to help your child learn to read. The programme follows an approach of synthesising phonemes associated with the graphemes a child sees; or quite simply, learning to read by blending the sounds associated with the letters a child sees. The programme is the product of extensive research on the best way to teach children how to read.
The reading books your child brings home are designed to support them in practising and consolidating the learning they do at school. They also enable children to experience the pleasure and pride of reading their own books.
All the books in Bug Club Phonics have been finely-levelled to ensure that all children can read books at exactly the right level for them. There are also online versions for every printed title and a personalised website for each child.
We change the phonetically decodable books once a week. This gives you the opportunity to read and reread the text with your child and help them to consolidate the phonics learning that is taking place in school. We ask for your cooperation in caring for the books and returning them weekly so that we can issue your child with their next book. We will continue to build our library of decodable reading texts but need every book returned before new ones are issued.
Using the printed books
Inside every Bug Club Phonics printed book, there are notes to help you make the most of reading with your child.
Inside front cover: there are suggestions of activities before your child starts reading, such as saying the sounds and practising blending them to make words, as well as strategies whilst your child is reading to you; for example, checking their understanding of the story or information on the page.
Inside back cover: the activities here are to help your child consolidate what they have read and increase their fluency.
Using the online reading world
If you have access to an internet connection, your child can enjoy reading Bug Club Phonics books online as well as in print. Each child has a unique homepage and can log into it by following these steps:
- Go to www.activelearnprimary.co.uk
- Enter the login details.
- Your child’s homepage will appear.
Reading a book online
We allocate books to your child according to their reading levels. These books will appear in the ‘My Stuff’ area of their personal homepage.
The eBooks have three main additional features to help your child. Find them in the ‘Independent’ section of ‘My Stuff’.
- Phoneme pronunciation guide: click on the bug icon to hear some of the phonemes (sounds) in the book.
- Read to me: after your child has had a go at reading the book, you can click on this to hear the text read out loud e.g. to help your child with giving expression.
- Quiz question: click on the second bug icon within the book to answer a question designed to reinforce your child’s learning. Their teacher will receive information about attempted questions.
When your child has finished the book, clicked on the phoneme pronunciation guide and attempted the quiz question, they will earn ‘ActiveLearn Coins’. By reading more books, your child will earn enough coins to ‘buy’ a reward in one of the many reward schemes.
When your child has finished a book, it will move to ‘My Library’. Children can read these books again if they want to, or they can choose new books from ‘My Stuff’.
When sharing a book with your child, try to take opportunities to talk about the book - before, during and after reading.
Before reading: look at the book cover and talk about your child’s expectations. Is the book likely to be fiction or non-fiction? Have you read other books together about these characters or by this author? What does your child think the book is going to be about?
While reading: support your child when unknown words need tackling: you can sound them out, split them into syllables, or identify suffixes and prefixes. Remind your child to listen to the words while reading them, to make sure that they make sense. Have a ‘meaning check’ every now and again to ensure that your child understands the text.
After reading: talk about the book. What was it about? Did it match your child’s expectations? Ask questions beginning with the words how and why to check that your child has been able to read between the lines. Ask whether anything seemed puzzling. Then ask your child to explain what the best and worst bits of the book were, and why.
If your child is having trouble using the pupil world, help can be found in the Help Section of ActiveLearn Primary (in the top right-hand corner of the website).
Please note: We strongly recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox web browsers with ActiveLearn. If you prefer to use Internet Explorer, please check you have at least IE9 in order for everything to work as it should.
Further information about Bug Club Phonics and how it meets the DfE validation criteria can be accessed here: