Teaching of phonics in the Primary Phase

At Alec Reed Academy Phonics teaching begins in Nursery and continues throughout Year 2 and beyond with the aim of pupils becoming fluent readers by the age of seven. Phonics teaching is divided into 6 Phases.

Phase 1 concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.

In Phase 2, letters and their sounds are introduced one at a time. A set of letters is taught each week. Children will be encouraged to use their knowledge of the letter sounds to blend and sound out words.

By the time they reach Phase 3, children will already be able to blend and segment words. Over the twelve weeks which Phase 3 is expected to last, twenty-five new graphemes are introduced.

When children start Phase 4 they will know a grapheme for each of the 42 phonemes. They will be able to blend phonemes to read CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and segment in order to spell them. The main aim of this phase is to consolidate the children's knowledge and to help them learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants.

Children entering Phase 5 will already be able to read and spell words with adjacent consonants. They will also be able to read and spell some polysyllabic words. In Phase Five, children will learn more graphemes and phonemes.

At the start of Phase 6 of Letters and Sounds, children will have already learnt the most frequently occurring grapheme–phoneme correspondences (GPCs) in the English language. They will be able to read many familiar words automatically. When they come across unfamiliar words they will in many cases be able to decode them quickly and quietly using their well-developed sounding and blending skills. At this stage children should be able to spell words phonemically although not always correctly. In Phase Six the main aim is for children to become more fluent readers and more accurate spellers.