Phonics Scheme



Our phonics teaching is based upon the ‘Letters and Sounds’ document, but has been adjusted to meet the needs of our children, using a systematic, synthetic approach to teaching phonics for reading and spelling. (We are transitioning to the ‘Little Wandle’ Letters and Sounds Revised programme from September 2022.)

Phonics is the teaching of reading and writing which helps develop the learner’s phonemic awareness.

This is the ability to:

  • hear, identify and manipulate phonemes (sounds)
  • to understand the reading and spelling patterns that represent them.
  • It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.

It is taught through different phases, beginning in Nursery with Phase 1, and then throughout KS1 children continue working through to phase 6, where the children begin to understand and apply spelling rules and patterns. In KS2 this is further developed with weekly spelling sessions, practise and application covering statutory word lists and spellings from the National Curriculum.

The Letters and Sounds programme is utilised in EYFS (Nursery & Reception) to develop phonics awareness and is continued throughout Key Stage 2 to ensure a consistency of approach in phonics teaching and learning.  In addition, ‘Spelling Shed’ is used to complement the Letters and Sounds programme.

As we teach sounds in phonics, we must also teach the letter names, so that the children understand the code of letters and sounds and how they relate to each other. This must continue throughout all reading and writing opportunities. We must use ‘pure phonics’ (e.g. ‘n’ is pronounced as it would be at the start of the word ‘no’, not pronounced ‘nuh’) so that spellings are correct.

Phonics involves matching the sounds of spoken English with individual letters or groups of letters. For example, the sound k can be spelled as c, k, ck or ch.

Teaching children to blend the sounds of letters together helps them decode unfamiliar or unknown words by sounding them out. For example, when a child is taught the sounds for the letters tpa and s, they can start to build up the words: “tap”, “taps”, “pat”, “pats” and “sat”.

The progression of phonics is planned for by the following markers however we look at the child’s stage of phonic knowledge and understanding, not just their age.

From the very beginning of Nursery, children begin Phase 1 where they are exposed to the different sounds around them and are encouraged to hear sounds and interpret and respond to them. It is necessary for a child to hear sounds around them in order for them to be able to hear the sounds in words later, and then use these sounds to help them write words.


Phase 1

Includes listening to and remembering:

– Environmental sounds e.g. animal sounds

– Instrumental sounds e.g. triangle, maraca;

– Body percussion – clapping;

– Rhythm and rhyme – choose the non-rhyming words from this word string; give me a rhyming word to continue this word string;

– Alliteration – find words that all start with the same sound;

– Voice sounds – make sounds for a story;

– Oral blending and segmenting.

Reception, children have daily phonics lessons where they learn Phases 2, 3 and 4. These continue into Year 1 where they learn Phase 5 sounds and then Year 2 to consolidate their learning and move on to spelling patterns. This is to ensure that children become fluent readers and these lead onto spelling and recognising spelling patterns within words.

We teach phonics for 25 minutes a day. In Reception, we build up from a 10 minute session to the full length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday is a review session to help children secure the weeks learning.


Phase 2, 3, and 4

During these phases, they will learn to distinguish between speech sounds and many will be able to blend and segment words orally. It is very important that when we are asking children to segment and blend, we are mindful of the sounds they know, only use the sounds in the current and previous sets

During Phase 2, pupils start to learn specific graphemes; these are taught in sets (sets 1-5). Pupils should be able to spell some VC and CVC words and some tricky words. Sounds should be written at the point of learning them.

In Phase 3, they will learn 42 phonemes by a grapheme and will apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words.

In Phase 4, pupils will practising blending for reading and segmenting for spelling. This phase is a revision of all the graphemes from Phases 2 & 3 as well as learning new tricky words.


Year 1 - Revise Phase 4 and Learn Phase 5

Children will broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know. In Year 1, pupils will take part in their Phonics Screening Check.

Year 2 - Revise Phase 5 and Move Onto Spelling Rules

During this phase, children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers. They will learn how to apply prefixes and suffixes as well as developing a good understanding of long and short vowels to help them with spelling rules.

As children progress through school, we continue to teach phonics to support those who have found this journey tricky or children who have joined us ‘new to country’ or have gaps within their phonics. We regularly assess children to identify their gaps and then use small group ‘catch ups’ or 1:1 precision teaching.


For further resources linked to Phonics follow these links:



Download this document to find sets of words to help your child practise reading real and alien words using their phonics sounds.


This website was launched in January 2022 - please be patient while we continue to add more information!
This website was launched in January 2022 - please be patient while we continue to add more information!