Subject Leader: Mrs H Palmer


At Saint George’s Church of England Primary Phase we follow the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme. There are six phases to the teaching of phonics:

  • Phases 1-4 are expected to be taught in the Reception Class
  • Phases 3 and 4 will be revised and then Phase 5 taught in Year One.
  • Phase 5 will be revised and then Phase 6 will be taught in Year Two.


Below is a glossary of terminology that your child will encounter as they work their way through the phases:

  • Phoneme – the smallest single identifiable sound (there are forty-four that we teach)
  • Grapheme – the written representation of a phoneme
  • Blending – recognising the letter sounds in a word and merging or blending the sounds together in the correct order to pronounce the word i.e. c-u-p makes cup
  • Segmenting – to split up a word into individual phonemes in order to spell it i.e. ship has three phonemes, sh-i-p
  • Digraph – two letters together that make one sound i.e. sh
  • Trigraph – three letter together that make one sound i.e. igh
  • Split digraph – a vowel sound that is split between a consonant (a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e and u-e)
  • Tricky word – a word that cannot be decoded i.e. the. However some tricky words i.e out, become decodable as we learn harder digraphs.


How is Phonics taught at Saint George’s?

The children in EYFS will have discrete phonics teaching input daily by class teachers and teaching assistants. The sessions last no longer than twenty minutes. There will also be constant and enhanced activities within the environment available for the children to explore independently throughout the day.

Discrete daily phonics teaching of up to twenty-five minutes will continue in Key Stage One and be taught by teachers and teaching assistants. There will also be constant and enhanced activities within learning for children to experience throughout the day.

Any child falling behind in phonics will receive extra support in this area by support staff.


Year One Phonics Screening Check

At the end of Year One there is a statutory phonics check which takes place in June. Children in Year Two who did not meet the expected standard in the Year One Phonics Screening Check will be reassessed in Year Two.

To support the children’s progress in Year One towards the required standard for the Year One Phonics Screening Check, children are assessed periodically throughout the year using previous year’s test materials.

The Phonics Screening Check is a test of children’s ability to blend and read using the forty-four phonemes. They are asked to read a series or real and nonsense ‘alien’ words.

Throughout the year we will hold a number of workshops at school for parents about the teaching of phonics. We also hold a meeting after Easter about the Year One phonics screening and how parents can support their children at home to prepare them for this test.


How can I support my child at home?

The following link provides videos to support parent’s understanding of phonics, frequently asked questions about the Year One phonics screening and audio clips of how to pronounce each of the forty-four phonemes.


The following links are to games and activities that parents can use with their children to support their learning in school;