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In EYFS and KS1 Phonics is taught daily and in discrete 20 minute lessons. Children are grouped according to the phase they are working at. Phonics lessons are always fun, fast paced and interactive!  



Why Phonics?

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through the more complex sounds, it is the most effective way of teaching children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5-7. Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can go onto read any kind of text fluently, confidently and for enjoyment.


At St. Antony's we use the Letters and Sounds document published by the Department for Education (2007) to teach children the different sounds (phonemes) and the letters or combinations of letters that represent those sounds (graphemes). The programme is split up into 6 overlapping phases. (see table below) 



Year 1 phonics screening check

Children in Year 1 will be taking the statutory phonics screening check the week beginning the 10th June 2019. Please make sure your child is in school this week! There will be a parents screening meeting during Spring term 2019.


Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One(Nursery/Reception)

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two

(Reception) up to 6 weeks

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three

(Reception) up to 12 weeks

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four

(Reception) 4 to 6 weeks

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Phase Five 

(Throughout Year 1)

Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase Six

(Throughout Year 2 and beyond)

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.


What are High Frequency words?

High frequency words are common words, words that appear very often in written texts. They are a mixture ofdecodable words (words that can be sounded out) and tricky / exception words (words in which the English spelling code works in an unusual or uncommon way, which means the words have to be learned and recognised by sight).

It is really important that children learn how to read these words as they will make up a large proportion of the words they will be reading in everyday texts. They also need to learn to spell these words as they will find they will need to use them a great deal in their writing. 


How can I help at home?

There are lots of things that parents can do at home to support your child. One of the main things is to read with your child each night and encourage them to 'sound out' unfamiliar words.Below are some suggested websites to support the learning of phonics.

If you have any queries or questions about phonics please don't hesitate to make an appointment with Mrs Redwood, our Phonics leader.