'Phonics is taught well from entry in the Reception class and across key stage. When they read aloud it is clear that pupils are able to break down and build up words well.' Ofsted November 2016

This is where the children are taught about letter sounds and shapes, and which letters (or groups of letters) make which sounds.

Children are taught to say the sound, and recognise the letter (or group of letters) that makes that sound.  However, using phonics to help you read is not just about knowing the sounds that the letters make.  The children have to learn how to blend those individual sounds together to read words.  For example, c-a-t blended together says ‘cat’ and sh-o-p says ‘shop’.

Below is a short video to explain more.


The local authority has produced a booklet to support parents in their understanding of phonics teaching and learning.

Phonics Booklet

In Reception Class, Year One and Year Two the children have a twenty minute phonics session every day.  The sessions are delivered by the teachers and teaching assistants in the Infants.

The children are grouped for phonics according to what they know and what they can do.  This means that they are taught specific next steps in small groups.

Here is an overview of the sequence of teaching in phonics.

Phonics progression Through the phases

The table above outlines the sequence of teaching and learning in phonics.

We expect pupils to progress to Phase 3 within the Reception year. In Year One, pupils will move through Phase 4 into Phase 5.

In Year Two, Phase 5 will be consolidated and Phase Six will be taught.

We expect our pupils to have a secure phonic knowledge by the time they move into Year Three.

Additional sessions and intervention takes place for those pupils who need to continue learning phonics in the Junior classes.

This year we have a new tracking system for phonics. This will hopefully clearly show those children excelling and those who need more support. A sample of the format can be seen here.

2018 Phonics Tracker