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Phonics is a method for teaching reading and writing of the English language by developing learners’ phonemic awareness—the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate phonemes—in order to teach the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns (graphemes) that represent them.


‘Letters & Sounds’ is the government programme for teaching phonics and high frequency words.

It is split into 5 phases with the different phases being covered in different years in Foundation Stage & Key Stage 1.

  • Phase 1– Nursery / Reception
  • Phase 2– Reception
  • Phase 3– Reception
  • Phase 4– Year 1
  • Phase 5– Year 1/2

The information below will give you an idea of what is expected at each level.

Phase 1

Phase 1 is crucial phase in developing speaking and listening skills and phonological awareness.

Seven aspects:

  • Environmental sounds
  • Instrumental sounds
  • Body percussion
  • Rhythm and rhyme
  • Alliteration (e.g. sparking sun, bouncing ball)
  • Voice sounds
  • Oral blending and segmenting (see phase 2)

Things to try at home:-

  • Play games like ‘I spy’
  • Sing songs and rhymes together
  • Make a ‘junk band’ with pots & pans
  • Share lots of books together

Phase 2

By the end of phase 2, the children should know 23 sounds…

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

and be able to read some of the 45 tricky words taught in reception…

They should be able to orally blend cvc words e.g. when you sound out c-a-t, they can tell you the word is cat, and also orally segment cvc words e.g. when you say mum, they can pick out the sounds m-u-m.

Phase 3

Phase 3 builds on Phase 2 and the children learn 27 more sounds (including some where the same letters can make different sounds e.g. oo– book, loop)…

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

They should now, also, be able to spell and read most of the 45tricky words.

For further information please contact the Headteacher.

Phonics screening check

download here

 Useful website links

Includes further information on each phase as well as printable resources and links to online games.

Wide range of games for sounds, words and rhyming.

Search engine designed for schools where you can find a wide range of resources and activities with a phonics focus.


 For more information, please contact Ms P K Sehmi (Headteacher) or         Ms J Butler (Deputy Headteacher) at the school.



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