Phonics and reading

Martley CE Primary School Agreed Approach for Phonics and Spelling

Purpose of this agreed approach

Phonics underpins most children becoming confident and able readers by identifying and blending phonemes from left to right to read words.  A secure knowledge of phonics will form the foundation of spelling.  Spelling then becomes accurate through learning and applying rules.


‘should be set within a broad and rich language curriculum that takes full account of developing the four interdependent strands of language.’

Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading

Sir Jim Rose – March 2006

Appendix 1 – What is phonics

How is phonics taught?

At Martley CE Primary School  Letters and Sounds (phases 1 through 4) underpins the order and progression of teaching phonics in preschool and Reception.  This is downloadable from :

Phonics teaching within Year 1 and Year 2 matches to the National Curriculum 2014

In addition Read, Write Inc materials support the introduction and writing of graphemes in Reception in particular.    Across school a variety of other resources support the delivery of engaging and motivating phonics sessions.

Teaching expectations All phonics teaching will

  • Engage all children and be fully participatory – use of partners, groups
  • Ensure that the grapheme- phoneme correspondence (gpc) is taught in a clearly defined, incremental sequence as set out in Letters and Sounds
  • Model and support children using the correct enunciation of the phonemes – for information

  • Blend phonemes in order, all through the word so they can be read
  • Segment words into their constituent phonemes, to spell them
  • Highlight that blending and segmenting are reversible processes

Appendix 2: Effective phonics teaching

Teaching Arrangements                                                    Appendix 3: Programme of  teaching


The aim is for children to be able to blend and segment words with 3 or less phonemes by the end of YN.

Children will have regular, planned daily opportunities across all 7 aspects of  Letters and Sounds  Phase 1 so they become familiar with listening to, remembering and talking about sounds. In addition they will be encouraged to consolidate and extend these skills in independent learning inside and outside.


There will a prompt start to teaching Phase 2 of Letters and Sounds.

All children will participate in a whole class daily 20 minute phonics session even if they are not yet secure with oral blending and segmenting.  Differentiated focus activities and a range of independent learning opportunities inside and out will give children the chance to practice and consolidate their growing phonic knowledge.

Where children need more support this will be provided in addition to the daily session so that the children have every opportunity to make accelerated progress in this key area.

Children will have covered  phases 2, 3 and 4 of Letters and Sounds and be secure at reading and spelling words (with 3 or fewer phonemes) using  Phase 3  phoneme/grapheme correspondence at the end of the year.  Additionally,  the children should be able to read and spell words with tricky bits and  orally blend and segment words with more than 3 phonemes and use  this knowledge to successfully spell longer words.


Children will start the year reviewing Phase 4 of Letters and Sounds and then follow the NC for Spelling in Y1.

By the end of the year most childen should  know most of the common grapheme, phoneme correspondences and be able to read

  • words automatically if they are very familiar;
  • decode words quickly and silently because their sounding and blending routine is now well established;
  • decode them aloud.

Children’s spelling should be phonemically accurate, although it may not be accurate at all times.  Spelling will not be as secure.

 Y2  (Structure of the Daily 20 minute phonics  session in YR, Y1 and Y2 (though arrangements the session for Y2 children may evolve towards a longer SPAG session fewer times a week as the year progresses)
National Curriculum Common Exception Words/ Letters and Sounds Tricky Words Phases 2-4 inc are taught within phonics sessions

Appendix 4 Common Exception Words

Planning for Phonics (YR and KS1)                           Appendix 5 MPS  Phonics Planning sheet

This demonstrates..

Set clear learning intention

Revisit/ Review – practise previously learned letters and oral blending and segmenting (2/3 mins)

Teach – new graphemes, blending and segmenting  and tricky words (5 mins)

Practise – reading and spelling words (8-10 mins)

Apply – use phonics to read or write a caption/words (3- 5 mins)

Timings are for guidance.  However

all 4 parts of a session should be seen in the daily session.

Key points

  • sound buttons/Fred fingers – model, use and and apply to support improving spelling in writing outside the phonics session.  This builds on the use of robot arms in preschool/YR
  • identifying digraphs and trigraphs in reading and when spelling (use of highlighter pens and providing writing mat to support identifying the gpc)
  • environment needs to support and encourage use of phonics
  • use of technical vocabulary from the earliest age: phoneme, grapheme, digraph, trigraph and split digraph
  • parents and families are enabled and encouraged to support their child by attending phonics workshops and joining in with class activities involving families to promote reading and writing.
  • Homework

To be adapted/confirmed

Phonics and spelling at KS2

In KS2 children will have 3 phonic/spelling sessions or interventions a week.  Children will be assessed regularly and may be taught by ability across the year group. The spelling sessions in KS2 will involve a  balance of teacher led and independent activities.

Children in KS2 will be given weekly spellings to learn.  Teachers will send home ideas to assist parents with practising these spellings.

Method of teaching spelling

  • Look, say, cover, write, check
  • Mnemonics
  • Spelling patterns


Children will be assessed continually within the daily phonics/spelling session.

In FS and KS1 children will be assessed termly on their gpc and common exception word knowledge.

In KS1 children will read a mixture of real and pseudo words, termly on a 1:1 basis and will continue to do this if they are still working towards passing the Y1 phonics screening test

In KS2 …

At the end of Year 1 all the children will take part in the national phonics screening check.  The check contains a mixture of real and pseudo words for the children to read. Advice on how to carry out the check is  available at

Any child who does not achieve the pass rate in Year 1 will retake the test the following year in Year 2


Foundation stage and ks1 staff to liaise with English Coordinator to arrange workshop/information sessions for parents on an annual basis (at least) to share how they can support their children at home.


Story telling chairAt Martley, we do not have one predominant scheme, but a range of books from different publishers and schemes. Our books are carefully graded by reading levels known as National Reading Book Bands. This is based on careful research into the kind of words used in each book, the length of sentences, punctuation, story style and text size. It also supports a progression of reading strategies.

When a child is learning to read, it is important that they have access to a range of different kinds of books and a wide vocabulary. Most reading schemes have their own core vocabulary and if children only read books from one scheme, they sometimes struggle when they have to switch to another reading scheme or to reading a ‘real’ book. Our aim is for all children to enjoy reading and to become confident and independent readers.

We also use other resources to support reading. Magnetic boards and letters help children to develop their reading and spelling skills in a multisensory way. Other useful resources include flash cards, phonics wall friezes and alphabet puzzles.

Some good websites to visit:

Suggested reading books

BBC help and advice for parents re reading

Reading Rockets

Booktrust – reading booklet for parents


Read to me

Top Tips from Oxford Owl

FL/SW March 2015