Teaching of Phonics
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Teaching of Phonics

In school we currently use the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme to teach daily phonics sessions.

As children learn and progress at different rates we set the children according to their ability across reception class, year one and year two. Children are grouped according to their ability and are placed at the corresponding phase.

We offer at least 7 different ability groups in EYFS and KS1. Twenty minutes of discrete, focussed phonics teaching takes place each day, using a range of interactive resources and activities.

The programme is a six phased scheme. 

Phase One – The activities concentrate on developing children's speaking and listening skills, phonological awareness and oral blending and segmenting.  Phase One activities pave the way for children to make a good start in reading and writing.

Phase Two - The purpose of this phase is to teach at least 19 letters, and move children on from oral blending and segmentation to blending and segmenting with letters. By the end of the phase many children should be able to read some VC and CVC words and to spell them either using magnetic letters or by writing the letters on paper or on whiteboards. During the phase children are introduced to reading two-syllable words and simple captions. They also learn to read some high-frequency ‘tricky’ words: the, to, go, no.

Phase Three - The purpose of this phase is to teach another 25 graphemes, most of them comprising two letters (e.g. oa), so the children can represent each of about 42 phonemes by a grapheme. Children continue to practise CVC blending and segmentation and apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions. They learn letter names, learn to read some more tricky words and also begin to learn to spell some of these words.

Phase Four - The purpose of this phase is to consolidate children’s knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words. Children practise blending for reading and segmenting for spelling.

Phase Five - The purpose of this phase is for children to broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know. Children become quicker at recognising graphemes of more than one letter in words and at blending the phonemes they represent. When spelling words they learn to choose the appropriate graphemes to represent phonemes and begin to build word-specific knowledge of the spellings of words.

Phase Six - During this phase, children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers. At this stage many children read longer and less familiar texts independently and with increasing fluency. The shift from learning to read to reading to learn takes place and children read for information and for pleasure.