Please remember, school is closed for children on Friday 22nd October and Monday 1st November for Staff Inset.

Reading & Phonics



Phonics is taught under the Letters and Sounds Framework set out by the DfE. From this framework we have devised a programme of daily sessions using the LCP planning tool, relevant to each phase, using a wealth of resources and activities devised to suit the needs of the children. We begin with the Jolly Phonics songs then move into the range of activities suggested by Letters and Sounds. Each session follows a similar format: 

  • Revisit and review -  all GPCs/words learnt so far 

  • Learn – new phoneme/grapheme, words or rule 

  • Practise - explore new learning 

  • Apply - use new learning in writing or reading of a sentence 

Phase 1 - Children explore sounds and words and develop awareness of rhyme, rhythm and alliteration. They learn how to orally blend sounds and distinguish different sounds in words. This can be through conversation, nursery rhymes, stories and games. Phase 1 is mostly taught in pre-school but we have resources and activities in place for those children who need to begin here. 

Phase 2 - Children continue with exploring rhymes and alliteration and are introduced to at least 19 letters and corresponding sounds. This is done using the Jolly Phonics songs linked to flash cards and supported with a variety of activities set up for continuous provision.  They begin to read and spell simple CVC words as well as high frequency words. Children are introduced to the Oxford Reading Tree Early Phonics reading books, as well as daily story telling sessions. 

Phase 3 Children learn one grapheme for a further 25 phonemes. These include consonant and vowel digraphs (e.g. ch, ng, aioa) and trigraphs (e.g. igh, air). They continue to build up their knowledge of high frequency words for reading and spelling. Throughout Phase 3,4 and 5 children will also be using ‘alien’ words (nonsense words), this is good practise for segmenting and blending sounds and will prepare Year 1 children for the phonics screening. 

Phase 4 Children read and spell words containing consonant clusters. These are two or more consonants together e.g. cl  dr  sk  mp  nd. Words containing these are known as CCVC and CVCC words. e.g. black, strip, chest). Towards the end of Phase 4 they will also begin to work with compound words such as lunchbox, pondweed and handstand. 

Phase 5 Children entering Phase 5 should already be able to read and spell words with adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and flask. They will also be able to read and spell some polysyllabic words. In Phase 5, children will learn alternative graphemes and phonemes. For example, they already know ai as in rain, but now they will be introduced to ay as in day and a-e as in make. Alternative pronunciations for graphemes will also be introduced, e.g. ea in tea, head and break. For this we use phoneme spotter stories. 

Phase 6 - Children can apply their phonic skills and knowledge to recognise and spell an increasing number of words. They will investigate and learn to add suffixes (egingederly, ness) to words and to spell words in the past, present and present continuous tense as well as the rules regarding regular and irregular verbs. They also look at superlative adjectives, comparative adjectives contracted words and plurals. 


At St Mawes we are passionate about reading and children's access to books. We aim to nurture life-long readers, who take pleasure in searching out new books to read, exploring and discovering through literature.  Our children’s reading experience is much more than the reading book which comes home from school. Reading is happening all the time in our school. It is taught in specific reading and English lessons, but our children are practising and using their reading constantly across all subjects too.  Our children’s reading journey begins with ‘learning to read’ and moves on into ‘reading to learn’.  It is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of reading. Without the ability to read, our children cannot access other subjects properly. Reading is empowering and wonderful.


Please click on the link below which outlines reading progression in more detail and how we have used pupil voice to continue to embrace a love of reading.

St Mawes Primary School
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