Phonics and Reading


At St Jude’s C of E Primary School we know that phonic teaching is the first step to reading and helping children develop literacy skills.

We aim to teach children fluent word reading skills and provide a good foundation in spelling through phonics teaching.

What is phonic teaching?

Phonic teaching involves teaching children the sounds of letters (not the letter names) and how these sounds can be blended together to make words. E.g. the word ‘cat’ is a decodable word because the letter sounds can be blended together.

c – a – t → cat

At St Jude’s we teach phonics using a government scheme called ‘Letters and Sounds’. This is organised into six phonic phases which your child progresses through as their reading ability improves. Phases 1 – 3 are usually taught in Reception, phase 4 and 5 in Year 1 and phase 6 in Year 2.

Each lesson will be planned with the use of visual, auditory and physical movements to help the children learn new phonic skills. Jolly Phonic actions and songs are used to help teach phonics especially at phase 1, 2 & 3.

Phase 1  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 3 letter words

Phase 3 Children learn all 44 phonemes and blend sounds to read words

Phase 4 Children blend consonants together to read difficult words, e.g. blue, grab.

Phase 5 Children learn how to spell letter sounds in more than one way, e.g. rain, day, make.

Phase 6 Children learn how to spell word specific spellings, e.g. turned, beautiful, shopping.



How will phonics be taught?

The children have daily phonics teaching. The session is usually split into four sections:

Revisit & review the previous sound and word building.

Teach a new phonic skill.

Practise the new skill.

Apply in different situations, e.g. Reading in a sentence or writing the word in a sentence.

As children move through the early stages of acquiring phonics, they practise by reading texts which are entirely decodable for them.

Once children have a secure knowledge of letter/sound correspondences and can blend words confidently, they access our Book Banded reading scheme which has books from various published schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Bug Books and Songbirds. This is designed to give children experience of a variety of reading genres. There are fiction and non-fiction books within each level.

Phonics teaching in Year 1

In Year 1 phonics is taught at least three times a week in discreet phonics sessions which last twenty minutes each. The sounds are then consolidated during the independent guided reading tasks and throughout the English lessons. The weekly spellings are also based upon the sounds taught that week. We use a range of resources, for example, sound cubes to build words, magnetic letters, sound cards and games on the interactive whiteboard. Children have their own sound mats to refer to during their independent work to support their using and applying of the sounds they have been taught.


Phonics teaching in Year 2

In Year 2, the children have two weekly discreet sessions which last for half an hour. As in Year One, the sounds are practised and applied during the independent Guided Reading tasks and also through their weekly spellings which are sent home. The sounds taught are from the Primary National Curriculum and two new sounds are taught and consolidated each week.