Skip to content ↓
St Alban's Catholic Academy

St Alban's

Catholic Academy

First Avenue, Harlow, Essex, CM20 2NP

Through God’s love we learn together, grow together and achieve together.

Phonics is taught thoughout our Trust using 'Letters and Sounds' which is a systematic Phonics Teaching resource. This is taught in carefully planned and structured phonic lessons that take place daily throughout KS1.

Letters and Sounds is made up of 6 phases. These are expected to be taught during the following years: Nursery/Pre-school - Phase 1, Reception- Phases 2, 3, and 4, Year 1- Phases 5, Year 2- Phase 6.

Phase One – Activities are divided into 7 aspects including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally children are introduced to oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two- Children learn 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. They begin to blend sounds to make words and segment words into separate sounds.

Phase Three – Children learn the remaining 7 letters of the alphabet with one sound for each. They also learn some digraphs (two letters that make one sound e.g. ch, sh) and some trigraphs (three letters that make one sound e.g. igh, air).

Phase Four – No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. stop, spin, jump.

Phase Five - Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase Six- Children continue to work on their spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters

Throughout the phases the children are gradually taught ‘tricky’ words, these are words that do not follow the phonic rules, e.g. was, people.

How can parents help at home?

Teach your child nursery rhymes.

Read to your child regularly, even once they become readers themselves.

Ensure that you hear your child read regularly, ideally every day. Encourage them to use their phonics to decode unknown words.

Encourage your child to sound out words as they write.

There are some really good websites with phonics games to reinforce their phonic knowledge.



Twinkl phonics

Hairy Letters

Mr Thorne

Phonics Vocabulary

Phoneme – The smallest unit of sound. There are approximately 44 phonemes in English (depending on regional accents). Phonemes can be put together to make words.

Grapheme – A way of writing down a phoneme. Graphemes can be made up of 1 letter c, 2 letters sh, 3 letters igh.

Digraph – A grapheme containing two letters that makes one sound (phoneme) eg, ay, ea, ch.

Trigraph - A grapheme containing three letters that makes one sound (phoneme) eg, igh, ear, air.

Blending (reading) – merging the phonemes to make a word.

Segmenting (writing) – Splitting the word into phonemes.

Tricky words – Words that cannot be blended or segmented. They need to be learnt by sight.


Find attached a more detailed 'parents guide' which lists the sounds and words taught in each phase