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Bitterley C of E  Primary School

St Edward's C of E Primary School

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The Teaching of Phonics

The teaching of phonics starts in Reception.


The scheme we use is Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics.

We are currently reviewing the DfE validated systematic synthetic phonics programmes and will move to one of the programmes in the spring term.

In order to bring this scheme to life, we enhance it with a variety of other resources. These include: Phonics Play, Teach you Monster to Read, Jolly Phonics actions and rhymes for the sounds.

We provide interactive parents’ workshops to support our parents in helping their children at home with their phonics, as well as uploading videos of the correct pronunciation onto our website.

In conjunction with the teaching of phonics we also give our children phonics based activities to take home to consolidate what has been learnt in school.


The phonics teaching is split into ‘phases’ as detailed below:


PhasePhonic Knowledge and Skills
Phase One
Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.
Phase Two
Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
Phase Three
The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the “simple code”, i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.
Phase Four
(Reception and Y1)
No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
Phase Five
(Throughout Year 1 and re-visited if necessary in Year 2)
Now we move on to the “complex code”. Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
Phase Six
(Throughout Year 2 and beyond)
Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.


Phonics Assessment

Our phonics assessment is ongoing from when they start with single sounds (how many they know) and then this builds to blending and progresses to digraph and trigraph.

Pupils in Year 1 take a phonics screening check in June. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. The children who did not meet the required standard for the check in Year 1 enter again in Year 2 with additional support.


Our Reading Schemes

Across the school, reading books are book banded.
In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, we have a number of book publishers to complement the teaching phonics. They are as follows:

  • Oxford Reading Tree
  • Bug Club Phonics
  • Collin’s Big Cat
  • Rigby Star


Children have their books changed twice a week (every Monday and Thursday). This is because we want children to read their book three times to help them develop all of their reading skills:

  • The first read will focus on their decoding skills to read phonically regular words and recognising common exception words.
  • The second read focuses on their understanding of what the text is about.
  • By the third read the child will feel confident and enjoy sharing the story with fluency and explore using expression.


In KS2 our class libraries are all book banded and therefore this supports children in their own personal selection allowing them to develop ownership of their book choices, whilst still finding success and enjoyment in reading.


Assessment of Reading

Attainment in reading is measured by using PM Benchmarking Reading Assessment, Salford Reading Test and Statutory assessments against the standards set out in the National Curriculum at the end of each key stage.

Articulation of Phonemes

A useful video clip showing the correct 'pure' pronounciation of phonemes (units of sound).

Useful Resources


Phonics Play


Teach Your Monster to Read


Foam Phonemes