Improving Reading Through Phonemic Awareness

Reading is broken down into five main areas: ​phonemic awareness​, ​phonics​, ​fluency​, ​vocabulary​, and ​comprehension​. 

The Heggerty programme for phonemic awareness has been introduced across the school, from New Entrants to Year 6. The programmes are different levels to cater for learning at the different year levels.

What is phonemic awareness? 

Phonemic awareness is the ability to understand that spoken words are made up of individual sounds called phonemes, and it's one of the early steps to achieve reading success.

The learning focuses on five levels of phonological awareness. Rhyming, alliteration, sentence segmenting, syllable blending, and segmenting.

Daily lessons teach early, basic, and advanced skills such as:

  • Rhyming and onset fluency.

  • Isolating final or medial sounds.

  • Blending and segmenting words, syllables, and phonemes.

  • Adding and deleting phonemes.

  • Substituting phonemes.

Activities are oral and auditory with physical movements of the body and hands to emphasise the sounds and phonemes.

Students find the activities interesting and interactive. They are making great progress in being more confident to sound out words and use the strategies from the programme across the curriculum areas.

View the Heggerty video here

Thank you to Olivia Graham and teacher trainee, Phoebe, Ben Kidd in Room 11, Tracey O'Sullivan, Room 5  and Sara Sprague, Room 3, for allowing videos to be done of snippets of the activities  in their classes.


Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Oral language, Sound recognition, Articulation of sounds, Spelling, Reading