On this page, you will find a range of resources to support phonics, early reading and spelling. This covers the sounds children are taught, the skills and progression and some useful ideas to support reading at home (Parent phonics and reading info pdf below).
There are additional videos and web links at the bottom if you would like more information, games or activities.
If you would like more specific support, then make a note in your child's reading record or arrange a time to speak to your child's class teacher - they will be able to answer any specific queries you may have.
Children as readers
Phonics Progression Explained
The first steps in children's journey to reading is becoming familiar with the phonics sounds. This means hearing them, saying them, seeing them and recognising them. As they begin to recall the sounds more quickly and fluently, they begin to blend them to form words.
c - a - t = cat
Once single letter sounds are learnt, children are introduced to digraphs and trigraphs - more than one letter for each sound. The sounding and blending process works the same way, but this time they are recognising sounds not just letters.
sh - ee - p = sheep
For example, in sheep, children should recognise s and h together as = sh, not as separate letters.
Once short words can be sounded and blended, children can then begin to sound out longer words using a method called 'chunking' - for example, wishing. This can be broken into wish-ing - w - i - sh and i - ng.
Children are then taught alternative sounds, common exception words and sounds and they begin to learn spelling patterns and rules. When applying their phonics to reading they will also take account of context to help read words. E.g. countryside, if the book is about sheep in fields, they will be able to use a combination of phonics and context to sound out this word.
Phonics phases explained
Children are taught phonics according to a Government scheme called 'Letters and Sounds' synthetic phonics. This is broken into 6 phases. Phases 1 - 3 are usually taught in Reception, Phase 4 and 5 in Year 1 and Phase 6 in Year 2. More time may need to be spent on a particular phase to ensure it is embedded and this is either done individually or with small groups.
Phase 1 - (Starting in nursery) children learn rhymes, keep rhythms and start to relate letter sounds to words - e.g. b for bag.
Phase 2 - children learn initial letter sounds and build three letter words using sound books and magnetic letters and other resources.
Phase 3 - Children learn all 44 phonemes (see video below) and blend sounds to read words. (e.g. ship and fish).
Phase 4 - Children blend consonants together to read more difficult words, E.g. blue and grasp.
Phase 5 - Children learn how to spell (and read) letter sounds in more than one way E.g. rain, day, make all contain the 'ai' sound spelt differently.
Phase 6 - Children learn how to spell (and read) word specific spellings and exceptions - e.g. beautiful and turned and shopping.
All children are assessed in phonics regularly through both formal and informal assessments and when hearing them read. Teaching can then be targeted to meet the needs of groups and the whole class to ensure every phase is taught successfully before moving on to new sounds and skills.
The Phonics Check was cancelled nationally in June 2021 for Year 1 pupils. Therefore, Year 2 pupils will sit the Phonics Check assessment to ensure that gaps are identified and pupils continue to make good progress in phonics. Results are reported to our local authority.