We teach our children to read using a ‘synthetic’ phonics approach. This is a link to the Government information on Phonics.

Letters and Sounds is the programme we use in school to support the systematic teaching of phonics to help the children read and spell words (and use Phonics Play Resources).  The programme is split into 6 phases.  Download the Phonics handout below for more details.


Phonic Knowledge and Skills

 Age related expectations
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 which sound each of the following letters make.

Set 1 – s  a  t  p
Set 2 – i  n  m  d
Set 3 – g  o  c  k
Set 4 – ck  e  u  r
Set 5 – h  b  f  ff   l  ll  ss

Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds.

Phase Three The remaining letters of the alphabet, one sound for each and the graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters.

Set 6 – j  v  w  x
Set 7 – y  z  zz  qu  ch  sh  th  ng  ai  ee  igh  oa  oo  ar  or  ur  ow  oi  ear  air  ure  er

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.
Beginning to read simple captions.

Completed by the end of EYFS
Phase Four No new graphemes

Phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Practicing all the graphemes and blending them to make words.
Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Be working in this level at end of EYFS
Phase Five 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.ay (day)  ou (out)  ie (tie)  oy (boy)  ir (girl)  ue (blue)  aw (saw) wh (when)  ph (photo)  ew (new)  oe (toe)  au (Paul)Spilt digraphs – where the sound is split by another letter such a-e (make)  e-e (these)  i-e (like)  o-e (home)  u-e (ruleNew pronunciations for known letters-
i (fin + find)  0 (hot + cold)  c (cat + cent)  g (got + Giant)  ow (cow + blow)  ie (tie + field)  ea (eat + bread)  a (what + hat)  y (yes + very)  ch (school + chin + chef)  ou (out + shoulder + could + you).
Completed by the end of Year 1
Phase  Six Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc. Completed by the end of Year 2
It is very important that pupils understand their phonics early in order to get them reading quickly. We teach children the letter’s name but more importantly we teach them  the sound it makes when spoken. We also teach them the sound that letters make when they are next to each other in a word. When you are  reading a book with a child and you break a word down by saying the name of the letter this can confuse a child.
Also and more subtly, you should only make the sound that the letter or letters make – not add extra sounds on. 
Some excellent resources to help you understand phonics better and to help you pronounce each letter correctly when sounding out phonemes (sounds letters make) can be found at and 
We also use Floppy Phonics and Bug Club in EYFS for Home Reading and Project X (and Bug Club in EYFS / KS 1) through the other classes for Guided Reading
You can see some Oxford Owls website books by clicking here.
We allow pupils to take home books for fun – to develop a love of reading and books. These may contain difficult words or no words at all! These are perfect for sharing and talking about with your child. Download the reading resource overview document below for more details.

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