This page will tell you everything you need to know about the teaching and assessment of phonics in our school. If  you have any questions or want anymore information on how to help your child at home, please speak to your child's class teacher or our English lead, Mrs Reed who would be more than happy to advise you further. 


Click here to see some of our talented children demonstrating our phonics sounds!



Phonics for Reception Parents/Carers

Updated: 19/10/2023 1.68 MB
Updated: 19/10/2023 4.53 MB


 What is Phonics?

Phonics is a method of teaching children how to read and write. Words are made up from small units of sound called phonemes. Phonics teaches children to be able to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children to learn to read words and to spell words. Phonemes (sounds) are systematically taught and children are shown how to blend them to read and segment them to write. There are 44 phonemes in the English language. When a phoneme is written, it is known as a grapheme. Children are taught ’high frequency words’ and ‘tricky words’. We call these common exception words ‘ninja words’ because the children need to attack these words because are not yet decodeable.

 Why do we teach Phonics?

Phonics is recommended as the first strategy that children should be taught in order to help them learn to read.  Phonics runs alongside other teaching methods to help children develop vital reading skills and give them a real love of reading, hopefully for life. As reading is the key to learning, it is important that we teach phonics clearly and systematically.


How we teach Phonics?


Phonics teaching begins as soon as the children enter the Foundation classes and is taught all the way up to year 2. The scheme the school follows is Phonic Bug. This provides us with a multi-sensory approach that accommodates all learning styles. 


Children in Reception have a discrete daily phonics lesson for 20 minutes. Pupils work at their own level and follow phases, ranging from phase 2 to phase 6. The pace of all phonics lessons is quick with lots of short sharp get up and go activities. High expectations are set for every pupil to progress. 

The children are constantly monitored and assessed to enable maximum progression. If any child falls behind our targeted support takes place immediately. Our reading scheme links directly to our teaching of phonics and allows children to continue to practise their phonics.


Overview of phonic phases


Phase One

Supports the importance of speaking and listening and develops children’s discrimination of sounds, including letter sounds.


Phase Two

The children learn to pronounce the sounds themselves in response to letters, before blending them. This leads to them being able to read simple words and captions.

Phonemes: s, a, t, p, i, n, m, d, g, o, c, k, ck, e, u, r, h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss

NinjaWords: the, to, I, no, go


Phase Three

Completes the teaching of the alphabet and moves on to sounds represented by more than one letter. The children will learn letter names and how to read and spell words.

Phonemes: j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu, ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er

Ninja ords: he, she, we, me, be, was, my, you, they, her, all, are


Phase Four

The children learn to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants.

NinjaWords: said, so, have, like, some, come, were, there, little, one, do, when, out, what


Phase Five

The children broaden their knowledge of sounds for use in reading and spelling. They will begin to build word-specific knowledge of the spellings of words.

Phonemes: wh, ph,

ay, a-e, eigh, ey, ei (long a),

ea, e-e, ir, ey, y (long e)

ie, i-e, y, i, (long i)

ow, o-e, o, oe (long o)

ew,ue,u-e, (long u), u /oul (short oo)

aw, au, al, ir, er, ear, ou, oy, ere, eer, are, ear, c, k, ck, ch, ce, ci, cy, sc, stl, se, ge,gi,gy, dge, le,mb, kn, gn,wr, tch,sh, ea, zh, (w) a, o

Ninja Words: oh, their, people, Mr, Mrs, looked, called, asked


Phase Six

This focuses more sharply on word-specific spellings. It encourages children to become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.



Phonics screening check  


Please click here for more information on the Phonics Screening Check during 2023.

Children in Year 1 throughout the country will all be taking part in a phonics screening check during the same week in June. Children in Year 2 will also take the check if they did not achieve the required result when in Year 1 or they have not taken the test before. Headteachers should decide whether it is appropriate for each of their pupils to take the phonics screening check. The phonics screening check is designed to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding and blending skills to an appropriate standard.


What Happens During the Screening?

The test contains 40 words. Each child will sit one-to-one and read each word aloud to a teacher. The test will take approximately 10 minutes per child, although all children are different and will complete the check at their own pace. The list of words the children read is a combination of 20 real words and 20 pseudo words (nonsense words). The pass mark for the last 8 years has been 32/40.



Our results


All pupils     


Year 2 retakes


















to be confirmed

to be confirmed

to be confirmed

to be confirmed


Phonics at Home


There are many great websites and apps to support phonics learning at home. Here are some of our favourites which the children may already be familiar with from school; (Buried treasure, Dragons Den, Picnic on Pluto) (The Dinosaur’s Eggs, Poop Deck Pirates, Forest Phonics, Sound Buttons)



Phonics Vocabulary Help


Phoneme – The smallest unit of sound. Phonemes can be put together to make words.


Grapheme – A way of writing down a phoneme. Graphemes can be made up from 1 letter e.g. p, 2 letters e.g. ch, 3 letters e.g. igh or 4 letters e.g. tion.


GPC – Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence. The skill of being able to match the written representation to the sound that they hear.


Digraph – A grapheme containing two letters that make just one sound – th, sh, ch, ay, ee, ie, ou, ow


Split digraph – A vowel grapheme containing two letters but which allow a letter to stand between them. This does not stop the two letters still making their sound – a-e make, i-e bike, o-e bone, u-e tune


Trigraph – A grapheme containing three letters that make just one sound – igh, ear, ure, air, tch, are, ore


Blending – This involves looking at the written word, looking at each grapheme using their knowledge of GPCs in order to match to the phoneme and merge together to read the word.


Segmenting – This involves hearing a word and splitting it in to individual phonemes by sounding it out. Again using knowledge of GPCs will allow children to make written representations of each sound allowing them to spell the word.