“Reading is important. If you know how to read, then the whole world opens up to you.”

Barack Obama


What is Phonics? 

Phonics is one of the ways that we teach children to read. Phonics works by breaking words down into their individual sounds. Sounds can be made by one letter or a group of letters. In school we call sounds PHONEMES. When we write sounds using letter shapes, these are called GRAPHEMES.


Through our teaching of Phonics, we aim to: 

  • Deliver a high quality, systematic Phonics curriculum.

  • Ensure continuity and a good rate of progress for all children.

  • Provide timely interventions ,so that those who need to, secure their phonic knowledge as rapidly as possible.

  • Provide all children with the strategies they need to develop fluency, comprehension and a love of reading.

How do we teach Phonics?

At Roe Farm Primary, we use Letters and Sounds to support the teaching and learning of phonics.  Phonics is taught daily from Nursery to Year 2. Phonics lessons are taught within class groups. Outside of the class Phonics session, additional intervention groups take place for children who are not progressing at the expected rate and who require further support to secure their understanding of Phonics. 


At the end of Year 1, children undertake a statutory assessment called the ‘Year 1 Phonics Screening Check’. This takes place in June and is undertaken by your child’s Teacher. The Phonics Screening Check assesses your child’s phonic knowledge and how well they can apply the sounds they know to read both real and nonsense words.


What is taught in each year group?

All classes work within the progression outlined in Letters and Sounds and our Phonics Progression Map.



Nursery (FS1) 

In Nursery, children begin their Phonics journey with Phase 1. During Phase 1, children experience Phonics through their environment. They learn how to tune in to sounds and how to remember the sounds around them. They also learn how to talk about the sounds they can hear.  Phonic activities are often taught through rhyme, song, stories and musical instruments.


By the end of Phase 1, we aim for children to:

  • listen attentively

  • have a larger vocabulary

  • speak more confidently with adults and other children

  • know that sounds (phonemes) sound different to each other

  • say the sounds they can hear


Reception (FS2) 

During Reception, children complete Phase 2 and 3. During Phase 2 children are introduced to sounds (phonemes) and letter shapes (graphemes). They learn how to blend sounds to read words and how to segment sounds to spell words.


During Phase 3, children are introduced to digraphs (sounds with 2 letters) and trigraphs (sounds with 3 letters).


By the end of Phase 3, we aim for children to:

  • blend and segment with letters

  • read and spell correctly using the sounds that they know

  • read and spell ‘Tricky Words’


Year 1 

In Year 1, children move on to Phase 4 and 5. During Phase 4, no new sounds are taught. Instead, children learn how to apply the sounds that they know to longer, more complex words eg. lamp.


During Phase 5 children learn that the same sound can be spelt in different ways eg ‘oi’ as in boil and ‘oy’ as in toy. Children also learn split digraphs eg. a-e as in came and game.


By the end of Phase 5 we aim for children to have a broader knowledge of phonemes and graphemes, which they then apply confidently in their reading and writing.


Year 2 

In Year 2, we teach Phase 6 of Letters and Sounds. During this phase, children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.



For further information see:




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