Phonics and Early Reading


Through the teaching of phonics, children are taught the essential skills needed for reading. Phonics is taught daily to all children in Reception, and KS1. Extra support is provided to those in Year 2 who have not passed phonics screening in Year 1 and interventions are planned for those children who are working below expected levels. Once children move into Year 3, we teach phonics as an intervention for those who are still identified as needing support with reading, alongside other reading comprehension interventions. 

What is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:

  1. recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
  2. identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as ‘sh’ or ‘oa’; and
  3. blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.

Why phonics?

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7.

Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment. Children who have been taught phonics also tend to read more accurately than those taught using other methods, such as ‘look and say’. This includes children who find learning to read difficult, for example those who have dyslexia.

Did you know . . .   

phoneme is the sound a letter or a group of letters make (there are 44).    A grapheme is what the phoneme looks like (it could be represented in more than one way e.g.  ai  ey  ay).   A digraph is when two letters come together to make a phoneme (‘oa’ as in boat).   A trigraph is when three letters come together to make one phoneme (‘igh’ as in high).   A split digraph is when a vowel digraph is split by a consonant letter (e.g. ‘ae’ in make).    Segmenting consists of breaking words down into phonemes to spell. Blending consists of building words from phonemes to read.

Here you will find our phonics overview which outlines our approach to teaching phonics at Glenmere.

Phonics Sequence of Learning

EYFS Yearly Overview

Phonics Long Term Plan