The Importance of Early Years Phonics for Children

Posted: 9th May 2023

students reading different books

Reading and writing are fundamental skills that are crucial for children’s success in school and beyond. What do we do to accelerate a child’s development and give them the best start? The answer to that question is early years phonics. 

What is early years phonics?

Early years phonics is a method of teaching children how to read and write by focusing on the sounds and letters that form words. Written letters of the alphabet represent the sounds we use in spoken language. Through phonics, children learn to:

  • Recognise sounds and their associated letters
  • Identify the sounds that combinations of letters make
  • Blend sounds together to form a word

They develop a knowledge of the English alphabetic code and master the skills required to decode words. At Holmwood House we use the Monster Phonics systematically from Preschool to Year 2. 

Why is phonics important?

Phonics is the precursor to reading, writing and spelling. It provides a key foundation for children to develop crucial literacy skills that will carry them through life. Research shows that high quality phonics teaching effectively supports younger children to master the basics of reading, with an average impact of an additional five months’ progress.

Children with accelerated reading skills are able to independently access other areas of the curriculum. The more progress they make with phonics, the more progress they will make across the board. 

How do we teach early years phonics?

At Holmwood House, our early years specialists have devised a successful phonics curriculum to ensure all children successfully gain phonetic knowledge and master the associated skills.

We use Monster Phonics as the basis to teach children phonics. 

  • Monster Phonics is a child-centred systematic phonics programme
  • It accelerates progress through multi sensory fun, engaging lessons and colour-coding for sound. 
  • It significantly improves results for every child and on average has been found to increase reading ages by 23 months over a 5-month period of using Monster Phonics.

As the pupils move through the school our pupils engage with our literature rich curriculum. Our English is built on responding to class books, writing letters to MI5 in Year 6 (linked to Anthony Horrowtiz’s ‘Stormbreaker’) or retelling the ‘Tiger who came for Tea’ in Year 1 choosing an animal of their choice. To ensure all children make maximum progress, we tailor learning for individual needs and abilities and ensure our literacy curriculum is engaging and relevant to the child’s lives.  

Our recent ISI inspection commented “Pupils actively engage in reading. The youngest pupils had to be coerced out of the well-stocked library, and seemingly around every corner was observed a pupil “head down” in a book.”

Book a Visit

To find out more about our curriculum at Holmwood House, why not book a personalised tour of the school.  To book a visit, please contact our Admissions Registrar at

Categories: News Category 1


Holmwood House Nursery

151 Coach Road, Great Horkesley,
Essex CO6 4DX
T: (01206) 273 827


Holmwood House School

Chitts Hill, Lexden,
Essex CO3 9ST
T: (01206) 574305