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Phonics Vision Statement

Our intent, in phonics, at Kentisbeare School is to ensure all children have a solid and secure knowledge and understanding of letters and sounds, ensuring that it is embedded and built upon as they progress through the early years and KS1. Children will later use these early foundations to support, develop and enhance their love of reading and writing.

At Kentisbeare Primary School all children in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 have discrete daily phonics teaching. Using our Kentisbeare Letters and Sound Progression Document, children are taught the phonemes (sounds) systematically through the phases of phonics and how to blend and segment for reading and writing. We recognise the importance of teaching children the essential decoding skills needed, which they will eventually be able to apply independently when both reading and writing. Using our letter join handwriting scheme and handwriting rhymes, children are taught how to form their letters correctly and are reminded of these to help them when writing. Alongside this, they are also taught to read and spell tricky words, high frequency words and common words. The Letters and Sounds programme sets out the phases of phonics from phase 1 to phase 5 and each phase builds upon the knowledge and skills that have been previously taught.

We recognise that the development of spoken language and the enjoyment and comprehension of quality literature go hand in hand to develop a lifelong love of reading. We aim to nurture and develop these attributes alongside our schools’ approach to phonics.

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

The phonic screening check is a government test that all children in Year 1 take during the summer term. Children are given a range of real words and ‘pseudo words’ to sound out and read. This is testing their phonic knowledge through all the phases of phonics. Children will then get a score out of 40 of how many they have got correct this will then be reported to parents. The government then publish the ‘pass mark’ a few weeks later, this has been 32 for the last few years. Children at Kentisbeare School are well equipped to take the Phonics Screening Check and they take it with an adult familiar to them, this is usually their class teacher. To see examples of the Phonic Screening Check click here


As you continue to scroll on this page you will find a table of phonic terminology and its meanings, the phonics sounds, tricky words and high frequency words by phase as well as what phonics looks like at Kentisbeare School.


Phase 1 phonics is taught to our Pre-school children. The aim of this phase is to develop the children’s listening skills. This is taught to the children through a wide range of games, the singing of nursery rhymes, stories and playing musical instruments. It allows the children to explore the sounds and talk about these together. Children will also go out into our outside environment and listen to sounds that they can hear. We also recognise that there may be some children in our Pre-school who have experienced a wealth of listening activities and will be ready for the teaching of Phase 2 phonics. These children are then taught Phase 2 phonics in a systematic way, the same as the Reception class below.

Foundation Stage

The children will learn the first 19 sounds through Phase 2 and move on from oral blending to blending and segmenting using written letters. Children will learn how to read and write the sounds and use these to create words. Once the children have completed Phase 2 they will move on to learning Phase 3. For this Phase the children will learn the last few letters of the alphabet that are not covered in Phase 2 and then they will progress to learning some new digraphs and trigraphs. Within the Foundation Stage, children will be taught the Phase 2 and 3 high frequency words for reading and writing.

Children will then move onto Phase 4 which is no new graphemes but instead focus’ on consolidating the children’s knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words. Children will begin to learn the Phase 4 high frequency words for reading.

Year 1

We understand that not all children work at the same pace and recognise this within our phonic teaching. Primarily in Year 1, we continue with the teaching of phases 3 and 4 from Reception to ensure that children have a solid understanding of how to blend and segment words for reading and writing. Children will then move onto learning Phase 5 phonics. This phase introduces new graphemes and alternative pronunciations of graphemes that children have already learnt for them to use when reading and writing words. Children in Year One will consolidate Phase 3 high frequency words for reading and writing and continue their reading and writing of Phase 4 high frequency words. Once secure with this, children will be taught Phase 5 high frequency words for reading and writing.

Year 2

In Year 2, children consolidate prior learning from Year 1 and re-cap sounds and pronunciations from Phase 5. Year 2 will be taught alternative graphemes for reading and spelling in greater detail and with greater focus, following the Letters and Sounds Programme and our Kentisbeare Primary School Progression Document.

Phonics sessions will be taught using a similar structure and layout as in Reception and Year One.

Year 2 will then move onto the teaching of spellings using the National Curriculum for Year 2.

Kentisbeare Primary School knows that not all children will have a solid understanding of all phases of phonics by the time they reach the end of Year 1. We also understand that not all children will pass the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check and that these children will be required to re-take this in Year 2. Using assessments from Year 1 and ‘on arrival’ assessments in Year 2, the class teacher will identify gaps in learning and create intervention groups. Phonics teaching for those who continue to need it will be delivered through interventions in order to support the development and progress of phonics and the passing of the Phonics Screening Check in Year 2.


Beyond KS1

In Key Stage 2, children are taught phonics as intervention sessions. Any child across the school needing targeted phonic intervention will receive this to ensure that no child is left behind. These interventions are based around the gaps identified through teacher assessment. Teachers use assessment to inform them of the progress children are making. It also enables teachers to adapt the provision if necessary, to ensure the needs of individual pupils are met.

Here are the phonic sounds, tricky words and high frequency words (HFW) by phase

Phase 2 and 3Phase 4 and 5Phonics terminology
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