Phonics at St Paulinus Catholic Primary School

What is Phonics?

Phonics teaching helps children to understand the relationships between the letters (graphemes) of written language and the individual sounds (phonemes) of spoken language.

Words are made up of sounds (phonemes) and in English there are 44 sounds.

Letters and Sounds

At St. Paulinus Primary Catholic Voluntary Academy, we use the ‘Letters & Sounds’ approach to phonics teaching. ‘Letters & Sounds’ is a six-phase teaching programme designed to help children understand how letters in the alphabet work to help us to read and spell. A link to the DFE website is here:

Phase 1 begins in Early Years Foundation Stage and Phase 6 will be taught in Year 2, however some children may need further consolidation in Year 3 and beyond. Some of the strategies taught can be used by children of any year group to help with spelling.

The Six Phases

Phase 1 (EYFS including Nursery):

Explore and experiment with sounds & words; distinguish between different sounds in the environment and phonemes; show awareness of rhyme and alliteration; blend and segment orally.

Phase 2 (Reception/FS2):

Know about 6 grapheme phoneme correspondences (GPCs). Blend and segment vc (vowel consonant, eg. ‘at’) and cvc (consonant vowel consonant, ‘sat’) words and captions with letters. (s, a, t, p, i, n)

Know about 19 grapheme phoneme correspondences (GPCs). Blend and segment vc and cvc words and captions with letters. Read tricky words ‘the’,‘to’, ‘I’, ‘go’, ‘no’

Phase 3 (Reception/FS2):

Working on: Knowing one grapheme for each of the 44 phonemes

Working on: Reading and spelling a wide range of CVC words using all letters and less frequent consonant digraphs and some long vowel phonemes.

Graphemes: ear, air, ure, er, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo

Working on: Reading and spelling CVC words using a wider range of letters, short vowels, some consonant digraphs and double letters.

Consonant digraphs: ch, sh, th, ng

Working on: Reading and spelling CVC words using letters and short vowels.

Letter progression: Set 6: y, z, zz, qu Set 7: j, v, w, x

Phase 4 (Year 1):

Blend adjacent consonants in words & apply this skill when reading unfamiliar texts eg. spoon, fright, nest. Segment adjacent consonants in words & apply this to spelling.

Phase 5 (Year 1)

Know alternative ways of spelling & pronouncing graphemes.

Blend & segments sounds represented by all GPCs taught so far. Spell complex words using phonically plausible attempts.

Phase 6 (Year 2):

Apply phonic skills & knowledge with increasing fluency when reading unfamiliar words in texts. Recognise & spell increasing number of complex words including applying rules for adding prefixes & suffixes.

Click here for more information about Letters and Sounds.

Home Learning Links

Here are some links to pages which offer additional support for reading and phonics.

Oxford Reading Tree

On this site you will be able to access a range of staged oxford reading tree books for free. You do need to register for a free account.

Letters and Sounds

Phase 2 Games

Phase 3 Games

Phase 4 Games

Phase 5 Resources