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Grove Primary School

Phonics and Reading Schemes

The school approach to Phonics and Reading Schemes

Phonics sessions are taught daily from the beginning of the Foundation Stage to the end of Year 1 and going into Year 2. We follow the Essential Letters and Sounds programme and the ELS phonics scheme. Essential Letters and Sounds is a Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) programme, validated by the Department for Education.. This scheme is grouped into phases and pupils progress from phase 1 to phase 6. At the very beginning, children focus on listening and exploring sounds. They then develop an understanding of what graphemes and phonemes are and use this knowledge to help them with their reading and writing.

To learn more about the programme, please see the link below

Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics

In Nursery the children will cover Phase 1, in Reception the children will cover Phase 2, 3 and Phase 4, Phase 5 is learnt throughout Year 1 whilst Phase 6 is mainly taught in Year 2. It will help your child with both reading and writing to practise these sounds daily. If you would like more information about phonics, please ask your child’s teacher.


Phase 1 is taught in the Nursery and focuses on developing children’s speaking and listening skills. Children concentrate on tuning in sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. Phase 1 is divided in to seven aspects which contain three strands: Tuning bin to sounds, listening and remembering sounds and talking about sounds.


Phase 2 is taught during the Autumn Term in Reception. It focuses on teaching the single sounds that make up many simple words in the English language. Children learn to recognise, say and write these sounds. They also learn to blend these sounds together in order to read words. They learn to segment words into the sounds that they are made up from which forms the basis of spelling.

At the same time, children will be learning to read on sight the 24 Phase 2 High Frequency words which include the tricky words, I, no, go, to, the and into.

Most children will be confident with these skills by the end of Autumn Term in Reception and will be ready to move onto Phase 3.

Here are the sounds the children will learn in PHASE 2:

Set 1 : s a t p

Set 2: i n m d

Set 3: g o c k

Set 4: ck e u r

Set 5: h b f, ff l, ll ss


Phase 3 is usually taught during the Spring term of Reception. It introduces digraphs and trigraphs (sounds that are made up of 2 and three letters).

Just as in Phase 2, children are encouraged to sound out and blend together words containing these sounds in order to read, and to segment words into sounds in order to write. Children should be able to read Phase 3 High Frequency Words and spell Phase 2 High Frequency words.

Here are the sounds the children will learn in PHASE 3:

Set 6: j v w x

Set 7: y z, zz qu

ch     chip

sh     shop

th     thin/then

ng     ring

ar    farm

ai     rain

ee     feet

igh     night

oa     boat

oo     boot/look

ur     hurt

ow     cow

oi     coin

ear     dear

air     fair

ure     sure

er     corner

or     for


Phase 4 is generally taught at the end of Reception and consolidated in Year 1. There are no new sounds that are taught in Phase 4 of the programme. The main aim of the phase is to consolidate the children’s knowledge and to help them read and spell words using the sound that have learnt.


Phase 5 is taught throughout Year 1. It covers alternatives ways of spelling sounds that have been learnt already. It also teaches the most common spelling rules for these sounds so that children can make a ‘best guess’ about which spelling to use.

Children should be able to read Phase 5 High Frequency Words and spell Phase 4 High Frequency words and should be able to attempt spelling most words using a phonetic approach. Children will be taking home a mix of spellings that focus on the phonic sounds covered each week and the Year 1 spelling patterns given by the National Curriculum.

In June of Year 1, all children will take a phonics screening test. This is a national test taken by all children in England. There will be more information provided about this during the year.

Please follow the links below to support your child at home: - Phonicsplay website - General phonics website


From Reception Grove Primary School follows the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme for reading. Children work through the scheme starting from stage 1 until they reach stage 11. Once the class teacher is satisfied with the child's reading and comprehension of books in the stage they are moved on to the next stage. When the children have reached stage 11, the teacher moves the children on to 'purple sticker books' which are situated in the classroom. They then move on to being a 'free reader' where they can read any book from the shelves in the classroom or a book from home. We strongly believe that individual reading is important and all year groups follow the individual guidelines set out by the reading subject leader.

Grove Reading Guidelines

Reading at home

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