How We Teach Phonics

From Nursery until the end of Year One, children have a daily discrete phonics lesson.   We teach using the mastery approach, with the expectation that all children will progress.  For this reason, we teach whole class with no setting groups.


In our Nursery, children spend the initial few weeks settling into Nursery, learning the routines.  Once the class are settled, the children enjoy a 10 minute very practical phonics session every day.  Throughout the year, Nursery work through Phase One of the Letters and Sounds programme.  This phase develops and builds upon the children’s speaking and listening skills.  It helps to develop their ability to concentrate, hear and discriminate between sounds. 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. This lays the foundation for the phonics learning the children will experience in Reception.


In Reception, the children have a 20-minute discrete phonics session every day.  For the first few weeks, as the children are settling into the new routines of the Reception class, they review and consolidate the skills and knowledge of Phase One of the Letters and Sounds programme.  For the rest of the Reception year, they work through Phase Two to Phase Four following the Essential Letters and Sounds scheme.  Each phase contains a set of phonemes for the children to learn to read and spell.  The expectation is that the children will be able to apply their growing phonic knowledge to sounding out words in books to read, and sounding out words to spell as they independently write sentences.


October to December

January to May

June to July

Phase One

Phase Two

Phase Three

Phase Four


Our expectation is that children will keep up with the phases as the class progress through them.  Additional support will be given to children at other times of the day to help them to keep up with their class.

For children who are learning very quickly, we give them plenty of opportunities to apply their growing knowledge in reading and writing. 

Year One

Children continue to have a 20 minute discrete phonics session every day in Year One, building on their learning from the EYFS. Year One complete Phase Five following the Essential Letters and Sounds scheme.

Year Two and beyond

From Year Two onwards, children follow the No Nonsense Spelling Scheme, when they learn spelling rules and practise applying the rules. Additional support will be given to children who still need support with phonics.

Useful links

Further information on the Letters and Sounds programme can be found here:

You can find useful materials to print off and use here:

There are some engaging games here: