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.



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. Our teaching style has a high level of consistency with all phonics teachers using consistent vocabulary, teaching mantra and resources.

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 20-30 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 in KS2

We ensure that phonic knowledge and skills continue to underpin spelling after KS1. In KS2, we continue to develop skilled word decoding and segmenting through the speedy recognition of phonemes and the graphemes that can be used to represent them as well as the knowledge and understanding of common spelling patterns and how words are structured.

In KS2, we ensure that teaching draws attention to grapheme and phoneme correspondences that do not correspond with what has been taught so far and develops a sound understanding of how to use phonic skills and knowledge of alternatives to spell words.


Phonics Lesson Structure

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

Revisit and review

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 and Apply

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

Revise key learning

Focus on new learning in this lesson


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







Phase 1 continuous through Phase 2 - 6

Show awareness of rhyme and alliteration.    Distinguish between different sounds in the environment and phonemes.   Explore and experiment with sounds and words.  



Y2 Expectations (including elements of Phase 6 plus NC expectations)

Working on:   Recognising phonic irregularities and becoming more secure with less common grapheme-phoneme correspondences.

Reading and spelling the next 200 Medium Frequency Words and Common Exception Words.

Applying suffixes where changes are needed to the root (morphology), e.g. -ment, -ness, -ful, -less, -ly, -tion; -s, -es, -er, -est, -ing, -ed, -y.

Applying phonic skills and knowledge to recognise and spell an increasing number of complex words.                                                         Writing simple dictations.







Y1 Expectations (including elements of Phase 5 plus NC expectations)

Working on:   Reading phonically decodable two-syllable and three-syllable words.

Using alternative ways of pronouncing and spelling the graphemes corresponding to the long vowel phonemes.

Reading and spelling the 100 High Frequency Words and Common Exception Words.

Spelling complex words using phonically plausible attempts.

Applying affixes where no change to the root is needed, e.g. un-, -s, -es, -er, -est, -ing, -ed, -y.                      

Writing simple dictations.







Phase 4   (YR)

Working on:  Segmenting adjacent consonants in words and applying this in spelling.

Working on:  Blending adjacent consonants in words and applying this skill when reading unfamiliar texts.








Phase 3  (YR)

Working on:  Knowing one grapheme for each of the 43 phonemes




3iii: Working on:  Reading and spelling a wide range of CVC words using all letters and less frequent consonant digraphs and some long vowel phonemes.

Vowel di/trigraphs:

     ear,   air,   ure,    er,

     ar,   or,   ur,   ow,    oi,

     ai,   ee,    igh,   oa,   oo  







3ii: Working on:  Reading and spelling CVC words using a wider range of letters, short vowels, some consonant digraphs and double letters.

Consonant digraphs

     ch,   sh,    th,    ng







3i: Working on:  Reading and spelling CVC words using letters and short vowels.

Letter progression

     Set 7:   y,   z,   zz,    qu

     Set 6:   j,   v,    w,    x







Phase 2   

Working on:  Using common consonants and vowels. Blending for reading and segmenting for spelling simple CVC words.

Working on:  Knowing that words are constructed from phonemes and that phonemes are represented by graphemes.

Letter progression:

      Set 5:   h,   b,    f,   ff,   l,   ll,   ss

      Set 4:   ck,   e,   u,   r

      Set 3:   g,   o,   c,   k

      Set 2:   i,    n,   m,   d

      Set 1:   s,   a,    t,    p







Phase 1 

Working on: Showing awareness of rhyme and alliteration, distinguishing between different sounds in the environment and phonemes, exploring and experimenting with sounds and words and discriminating speech sounds in words. Beginning to orally blend and segment phonemes.


Phonics Videos

Support for Phonics


Here is a summary of Phonemes and Graphemes