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Phonics is taught daily in Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. Our phonics programme follows the structure of the DfE 'Letters and Sounds' document. We teach phases 1-5 from Nursery through to Year 1.


In Nursery this will involve a 15 minute daily session of phonics delivery where they are immersed with phase one phonic activities.

Phase One of Letters and Sounds concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. Phase 1 is divided into seven aspects. Each aspect contains three strands: Tuning in to sounds (auditory discrimination), Listening and remembering sounds (auditory memory and sequencing) and Talking about sounds (developing vocabulary and language comprehension).


Reception and Key Stage 1 have a 30 minute synthetic phonics session with a wide opportunity for application of skills. We use the Read Write Inc sound cards and phrases to introduce new sounds along with Jolly songs and actions. 

Phase 2,3 and 4 are taught in Reception. 

Phase 4 and 5 are taught in Year 1.


Phase 2 - In Phase 2, letters and their sounds are introduced one at a time. A set of letters is taught each week. As soon as each set of letters is introduced, children will be encouraged to use their knowledge of the letter sounds to blend and sound out words. For example, they will learn to blend the sounds s-a-t to make the word sat. They will also start learning to segment words. 


Phase 3 - By the time they reach Phase 3, children will already be able to blend and segment words containing the 19 letters taught in Phase 2. A sound over 2 days from the consonant digraphs. During Phase 3, children will also learn the letter names using an alphabet song, although they will continue to use the sounds when decoding words.


Phase 4 - In Phase 4, no new graphemes are introduced. The main aim of this phase is to consolidate the children's knowledge and to help them learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and milk.


Phase 5 - Children entering Phase Five will already be able to read and spell words with adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and flask. They will also be able to read and spell some polysyllabic words. In Phase Five, children will learn more graphemes and phonemes. For example, they already know 'ai' as in rain, but now they will be introduced to 'ay' as in day and 'a-e' as in make. Alternative pronunciations for graphemes will also be introduced, e.g. ea in tea, head and break.


Year 2 children revise all sounds learnt and are taught spelling patterns using the Read Write Inc Spelling programme with interactive resources. 


Phonics Vocabulary Help


Phoneme – The smallest unit of sound. Phonemes can be put together to make words.


Grapheme – A way of writing down a phoneme. Graphemes can be made up from 1 letter e.g. p, 2 letters e.g. ch, 3 letters e.g. igh or 4 letters e.g. tion.


GPC – Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence. The skill of being able to match the written representation to the sound that they hear.


Digraph – A grapheme containing two letters that make just one sound – th, sh, ch, ay, ee, ie, ou, ow


Split digraph – A vowel grapheme containing two letters but which allow a letter to stand between them. This does not stop the two letters still making their sound – a-e make, i-e bike, o-e bone, u-e tune


Trigraph – A grapheme containing three letters that make just one sound – igh, ear, ure, air, tch, are, ore


Blending – This involves looking at the written word, looking at each grapheme and merging together to read the word.


Segmenting – This involves hearing a word and splitting it in to individual phonemes by sounding it out. Using knowledge of GPCs will allow children to make written representations of each sound allowing them to spell the word.


Phonics at Home


There are many great websites and apps to support phonics learning at home. Here are some of our favourites which the children may already be familiar with from school; (Buried treasure, Dragons Den, Picnic on Pluto) (The Dinosaur’s Eggs, Poop Deck Pirates, Forest Phonics, Sound Buttons)