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Early Reading and Phonics

Early Reading and Phonics Strategy Statement Draft Copy

Early Reading and Phonics at Becontree Primary School


* There are some technical words that you will read on this page so we have provided some definitions to help.

What is phonics?


Phonics is an approach used to teach early reading.


Phonics is about knowing how letters in words link to sounds, for example, the letter ‘b’ in ‘bat’ makes a /b/ sound and the letters ‘ee’ in ‘tree’ make a long /ee/ sound.


At school, children learn to use this knowledge to help them read and write. They learn that by saying the sounds and running or blending them together, they can read the words on a page (b-a-t makes ‘bat’; t-r-ee makes ‘tree’). They also learn that if they break a spoken word up into separate sounds, they can start to spell it (the word ‘cat’ is spelt c-a-t).


Phonics has been shown to be a quick and effective way for young children to learn to read and start to spell words they want to write.


Our validated phonics scheme of work


At Becontree Primary School, we have chosen Schofield & Sims My Letters and Sounds as our validated Synthetic Phonics Programme. My Letters and Sounds is a systematic approach to teaching children to read using phonics.

Overview of the My letters and Sounds phases


My Letters and Sounds is divided into five phases. In each phase, the teaching builds upon children’s previous knowledge of letters and sounds taught in the previous phase.


Phonics Knowledge and Skills

Phase One


  • Developing good speaking and listening; making and recognising different types of sound, including speech sounds; developing phonological awareness; oral blending and segmenting of words.

Phase Two (Reception)


  • Learning 19 single-letter graphemes and their associated sounds: s, a, t, p, i, n, m, d, g, o, c, k, e, u, r, h, b, f, l, and simple diagraphs: ff, ll, ck, ss
  • Blending to read simple VC and CVC words (such as ‘it’ and ‘tap’); segmenting to spell VC and CVC words. 

Phase Three (Reception)

  • Learning the remaining letters of the alphabet and their associated sounds and diagraph and trigraphs: j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu, sh, ch, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo(long), oo(short). Ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, er.
  • Blending to read and segmenting to spell one-and two-syllable words using single letters and graphemes of more than one letter.

Phase Four (Reception)

  • Revising all GPCs (grapheme–phoneme correspondences) learnt so far (no new GPCs are taught during this phase).
  • Learning to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump

Phase Five (Year 1)

  • Learning the two remaining phonemes found in the English language (ure and zh).
  • Learning different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
  • Blending to read words with adjacent consonants and nearly taught graphemes, including polysyllabic words.
  • Learning alternative spellings of phonemes

Phase Six (Year 2 and Beyond)

  • Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.


How can you help at home?


Early Reading Workshop Powerpoint

Tricky Words and Sight Words Song

Please sponsor me and support my work by becoming a Patron!! Check out our printable phonics resources and online games! A tricky word/sight word song for children covering the, I, go, no, to, she, he and we. Tricky words, these are tricky tricky tricky tricky tricky words!

Phase 3 Tricky Words Song Say Hello To