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At Kingsley Primary School our intent for phonics is that all children become fluent readers and accurate spellers by the time they reach the end of year 2. Children will use segmenting and blending as their first approach to spelling. We also aim to instil a love of reading and writing. At Kingsley Primary school it us our belief that phonics and early reading form the foundations of success in children’s ongoing reading and writing journeys and this is why we aim to ensure good quality phonics teaching.


We believe that consistency across the school, in our approach to teaching phonics, is key to its success. We use the Letters and Sounds programme to teach phonics. Once children reach phase 4 in year 1, we supplement our Letters and Sounds programme with School Improvement Liverpool’s phonics planning. (KS1 Phonics). Early Years Foundation Stage use Jolly Phonics as a multi-sensory tool to supplement our main phonics programme.

We use a range of multi-sensory games and activities to teach the application of phonics throughout each stage. Pupils are streamed across EYFS and Phase 1 (Year 1 & 2). Phonics is statutory and is taught daily through 20 minute discrete sessions in Reception and Year 1 to ensure children develop into confident readers and writers. Children who did not pass the phonics screening check in Year 2 or Year 3 are tracked and targeted through small group intervention, as are children in year 1 working below Phase 4.

Kingsley Phonics Progression

Nursery: children will be introduced to letters and sounds mainly through the environment which should be language rich – displays, squidgy letters, letter stamps, listening centre etc. We would not expect to see discrete phonics lessons in pre-reception classes but rather lots of stories, songs, reading, communication and language and sounds work. Children will be assessed at Phase One.

Reception: Phase One will be consolidated before moving onto Phase Two. Children will have a discrete daily 20 minute phonic lesson as well as being emerged in a phonics rich environment with lots of adult modelling and opportunities for them to embed and apply their phonics. Children should be able to read and spell nearly all high frequency Phase Two words before moving onto Phase Three. They should be secure on phase 3 by the time they start year 1.

Year One: Children begin Phase 4 as this is a consolidation phase. A key aspect of Phase 4 is consolidating and embedding previous learning. Once Phase 4 is secure, children should be taught from Year 1 Phonics. Small group intervention will be put in place for those children who enter year 1 not yet secure on Phase Three. In June ALL year 1 will take the phonics screening check.

Year Two: All year 2 should be taught from KS1 Phonics. The aim in this year group is for children to becoming fluent readers and accurate spellers. Children use all of the skills they have learnt in the previous phases to help them do this. Children who did not pass the phonics screening check in year 1 will be identified, tracked and small group intervention will be put in place to support them. In June these children will re-take the Screening Check.

Year 3- We believe that it is essential that any pupils entering Year 3 with poor decoding skills are taught through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly with their peers in terms of decoding and spelling.

At the end of Autumn 1 children who did not pass the phonics screening check in Yr2 should carry out the check again to track and identify gaps. Intervention should be put in place accordingly.


At Kingsley Primary school we have invested in ‘Phonics Tracker’. Phonics Tracker is an instant assessment and tracking program for phonics, high frequency words and the phonics screening check. It allows teachers to simplify the assessment of phonics by instantly recording whether a child can successfully pronounce the phoneme or word, tracking progress across the primary English curriculum.

From reception, children’s phonics progression is tracked carefully and consistently each half term. Children carry out a sound recognition / blending / segmenting check at the end of each half term following the first term in school to allow teachers to identify and fill any gaps and provide support.

Children who did not pass the phonics screening check in Year 2 or Year 3 are tracked and targeted through small group intervention, as are children in year 1 who leave reception working below Phase 3.

Phonics Glossary



Reception High Frequency Words



Year 1 Spelling Curriculum Overview



Exception Sheets

Year-1-Common-Exception-Word-Chart-Plain-Text Year-2-Common-Exception-Word-Chart-Black


Phonics Cover Sheets

Phonics Nursery Cover Sheet Phonics Rec Cover Sheet Phonics Yr1 Cover Sheet Phonics Yr2 Cover Sheet Phonics Yr3 Cover Sheet




Phonics Explained for Parents

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read by linking sounds (phonemes) and the symbols that represent them (graphemes, or letter groups). Phonics is an early reading approach used by all schools in the UK.

A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound. The phonemes used when speaking English are:

All Year one children are formally assessed in June by an unseen government Phonic Screening Check. The children are asked to decode forty words, twenty real words and twenty ‘alien words’. At Kingsley, we ensure we make the phonics screening check a relaxed and fun experience for the children. Most do not even realise they are taking a test! Results of this screening check are reported to parents. Any child who does not reach the expected standard in Year One will receive further support and repeat the check in Year Two.

Phonics Vocabulary

Our pupils understand and use the below terms daily in their phonics lessons. These words, however, may be unknown to most parents who perhaps learnt to read in a very different way, and it might leave you feeling lost and in the dark on how to support your child in learning to read at home. Here are some explanations of key words:

Pure Sounds – pronouncing the sounds of letters and combinations of letters correctly, for example not saying ‘muh’ but ‘mmmmm’. Avoid trying to say an ‘uh’ at the end of the sound.

Oral blending – This involves hearing sounds and being able to put them together to make a word. For example an adult says ‘b-u-s’ and the child says ‘bus’.

Blending – children see a word, say those individual sounds in the word and then put those sounds together.

Segmenting – Breaking up the word into its sounds. This is vital for spelling and writing words.

Phoneme – The smallest unit of sound. There are approximately 44 in the English language to learn.

Grapheme – the written letter that represents the sound.

Digraph – two letters that make one sound, for example oo, oa, ee

Trigraph – three letters that make one sound, for example ear, igh, air

Split digraph – This is when a digraph (ie) has been split and a consonant has been placed in the middle. The ‘ie’ is still making the sound despite a letter in the middle. There are five split digraphs to learn i_e like in time a_e like in cake o_e like in joke e_e like in theme u_e like in tube

Tricky words – These are words within each of the phonics phases that cannot be decoded and sounded out. These words just need to be learnt by sight. We call them ‘tricky words’.

High Frequency words – these are words that occur most often in books and stories. They can be both decodable or tricky words.

Alien Words – Words that can be decoded but are made up and do not make sense. These words really test phonics skills. If a child has good phonic knowledge they will be able to decode both real and alien words.

Sound buttons – a button drawn or placed under each individual grapheme. Every time the button is pressed your child makes the sound and then blends all the sounds together to read the words. The word ‘cat’ would have three dot sounds buttons and ‘moon’ would also have three but the ‘oo’ would have a longer underneath.

CVC – Consonant, vowel, consonant. These can be simple three letter words like ‘mat’ but also the word ‘rain’ is a CVC word as the ‘ai’ is a vowel digraph in the middle. This is the same for words like moon, chain, sheet. The ‘ch’ and ‘sh’ are a consonant digraph and one sound. The word ‘boy’, for example, even though has 3 letters is not a CVC word as it only has two phonemes b-oy. This is the same for words like cow, tie, say.

Alliteration – words that begin with the same phoneme (snake, sock, scissors, star)

Letter formation – the way each individual letter is formed. Children will need to learn where they need to start for each letter