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John Fletcher of Madeley

Primary School

Phonics and Reading


Every day the children take part in a Letters and Sounds lesson. The children learn the sounds of the letters, how to blend them together to read words, how to segment them to spell words and to recognise and read high frequency and tricky words. The children’s knowledge of Letters and Sounds will be assessed at the end of each Phase.

‘Letters and Sounds’ is divided into 6 phases: 
The children will cover Phase 1 at Playgroup or Nursery, this recognises the importance of developing speaking and listening skills and it provides a broad and rich language experience.

At the start of the Reception class most children are ready to start Phase 2 (approximately 5 weeks) that covers teaching each of the letter names and sounds, manipulating the sounds to make simple words and learning to read some ‘tricky’ words.

Phase 3 (approximately 8 weeks) finishes teaching the letter sounds and introduces sounds represented by more than one letter. It also introduces reading and writing simple sentences and more ‘tricky’ words.

By the end of the Reception year most children will be working on Phase 4 (approximately 4 weeks) which teaches children to read and spell simple words. Some will be on Phase 5 which will continue into Year 1 and Phase 6 will follow. Towards the end of Year 1, all children undergo the “Phonics Check” which assesses their progress and the results of this are reported to you at the end of the year.


Reading is taught using a systematic, synthetic phonic approach. All reading material in Early Years and Key Stage 1 is phonetically decodeable. The reading books are colour banded and directly linked to the progression through Letters and Sounds. Children take part in group reading sessions, with an adult, where their understanding of reading is developed. We use Pearson’s ‘Phonic Bug’ scheme as our main guided reading resource. Individual home reading books are a range of books from a variety of reading schemes which are banded at the same level as our group readers.