Phonics on a page

The teaching of phonics provides children with a system for decoding words so that they are able to read them and to spell them. Good reading and writing skills are fundamental to children’s development of self-confidence in all areas of learning and vital for accessing the rest of the curriculum. We ensure all children have the same primary strategy as their first approach to reading and spelling even if a word is not phonically regular.

Children start learning Phonics in Nursery at Mandeville and continue to do so though Reception and into KS1 with the expectation that they will be a fluent reader with secure phonics knowledge and skills by the end of KS1.


Phonics Programme

We follow the Letters and Sounds Programme - a Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme – and the order in which phonemes and tricky words are introduced follows this approach. We use a multisensory approach so that children learn from simultaneous visual, auditory and kinaesthetic approaches designed to secure essential phonics knowledge and skills.

The songs and actions we use to introduce the phonemes are the ones from the Jolly Phonics programme but within the context of the Letters and Sounds programme.


Our programme has a clear focus on teaching that:

  • for reading, phonemes should be blended in order, from left to right, all through the word and
  • for writing, words can be segmented into their constituent phonemes for spelling and this is the reverse of blending for reading.

We ensure through our teaching that children apply their phonics knowledge and skills as their first approach to reading and spelling even if a word is not phonically regular.

In EYFS and KS1, Phonics is taught daily for 20 minutes.


Letter and Sounds Phases

The Letters and Sounds Programme has 6 phases which are shown in detail in the impact section.


Assessment for Learning

We use a clear and consistent set of assessment criteria for regular monitoring of progress in phonics so that any gaps are spotted quickly and plans put in place for closing those gaps in children’s knowledge and skills.


Reading Scheme Books

We ensure that reading scheme books that are for practising reading at home are decodable by the child at the level they are working in phonics so that they experience success and learn to rely on the blending strategies that they are learning in their phonics lessons in school.

Phonics Lesson Structure

Phonics lessons follow a 4 part structure which is usually as follows from Phase 2 onwards:


Practise previously learned phonemes

Practise oral blending and segmentation


Teach a new phoneme

Teach blending and/or segmentation with phonemes already learned

Teach one or two tricky words


Practise reading and/or spelling words with the new phoneme


Read or write a caption using one or more high frequency words and words containing the new phoneme

Resources to support Phonics: phoneme cards and jingles for guiding correct letter formation; magnetic letters; mini clipboards and pencils; mini whiteboards and pens; phonics songs and actions from Jolly Phonics.

Phonics Workshop January 2018

Support for Phonics


Here is a Vowel Phoneme Keyboard to help explain phonics.