Heatherlands Primary School

Enjoying Learning Together


Miss Lynam - Phonics Champion

Heatherlands Primary Phonics Sequence of Learning

Teaching 'Tricky' High-Frequency Words


There are 100 common words that recur frequently in much of the written material young children read and that they need when they write. Most of these are decodable, by sounding and blending, assuming the grapheme–phoneme correspondences are known, but only 26 of the high-frequency words are decodable by the end of Phase Two.


Reading a group of these words each day, by applying grapheme–phoneme knowledge as it is acquired, will help children recognise them quickly. However, in order to read simple captions it is necessary also to know some words that have unusual or untaught GPCs (‘tricky’ words) and these need to be learned.






Phonics Friday

Phonics Rationale


At Heatherlands Primary School, we believe that the ability to read is fundamental to pupils’ development as independent learners, during their time at school and beyond. Reading is central to our ability to understand, interpret and communicate with each other and the world around us. It is important to lay firm foundations in this crucial area of the curriculum and establish a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of phonics. We have developed and mapped out the progression of phonics across Early Years and Key Stage 1 to ensure the effectiveness of the teaching and learning of phonics.


At Heatherlands we use systematic teaching of phonics to support children in learning to read and write. It is proven that high quality phonic teaching can substantially reduce the number of children at risk of falling below age-related expectations for reading. As children progress in their phonic knowledge, they will move on from learning letters and the sounds they make, to using and applying their phonic knowledge to blending and segmenting words for reading and spelling. We give the children the opportunity to use and apply their phonic learning through multi-sensory games and activities so that they then use this in their independent reading and writing.




Our aims are for all children at Heatherlands Primary School to:

  • Be taught high-quality systematic phonic lessons
  • Learn the correspondence between graphemes in written language and phonemes in spoken language (GPC)
  • Be able to orally blend and segment
  • Have knowledge of the alphabetic code and skills for blending for reading
  • Have knowledge of the alphabetic code and skills for segmenting for spelling
  • Have a bank of high frequency words which they can recognise by sight
  • Understand and use the technical vocabulary related to phonics
  • Have their progress tracked through effective assessment, to enable teachers to make informed decisions about planning for the next steps
  • Have a rich and varied environment which they can access to support their phonic knowledge and application
  • Have access to books that are phonetically decodable through Phases 1 to 5, alongside books that develop their sight vocabulary and support other strategies for reading


Action and Implementation


  • In Early Years children will be taught phonics through the teaching of ‘Letters and Sounds’ using ‘Jolly Phonics’ as a memory aid.
  • Children in Year 1 continue to follow the letters and sounds program until they are secure at phase 5.
  • Children in Year 2 continue to have daily phonics lessons and those who were not secure at phase 5 when leaving year 1 or who did not pass the phonics screening check receive additional phonics intervention sessions.
  • Children from Year 2 to Year 6 will revisit and expand on their phonic knowledge through the teaching of GPS (grammar, punctuation and spelling) lessons.


Early Years and Key Stage 1


  • Daily phonics lessons, using Jolly Phonics and the Letters and Sounds document alongside the National Curriculum


Key Stage 2


  • Daily SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) activities included in English teaching linked to writing
  • Where appropriate targeted phonics lessons/activities depending on the need of the children
  • Reading intervention groups where appropriate
  • Weekly spelling investigations with focus on specific spelling patterns


Role of Parents and Carers


Phonics is most effective when children are given plenty of encouragement and learn to enjoy reading and books. Parents play a vital role in helping with this and at Heatherlands Primary School, we endeavour to support parents with this through regular communications such as home learning activities, parents’ evenings etc. We also lead regular phonic workshops in Early Years and Key Stage 1, with a focus on developing the parents’ subject knowledge in the teaching of phonics and supporting them to work alongside their child in phonic activities.  In addition, parents are given resource materials, suggested web links, video tutorials and strategies to help their child at home with phonics at these events. In Early Years, parents are invited into their child’s class for ‘Phonics Friday’ where they have a phonics lesson with their child. In the Spring Term once the children have been taught all 44 phonemes, games and activities linked to blending and segmenting will be sent home for consolidation.


H. Lynam

Phonics Champion

Letters and sounds order of teaching through the 3 phases. Orange = phase 2, purple = phase 3. Pink = phase 5 (alternative graphemes)

Early Years using phonics in the outside classroom, with magnetic boards and in multi-sensory ways. They are also playing a high frequency word game called red word puddles.

Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl

Still image for this video
Learn how to pronounce all 44 phonics sounds, or phonemes, used in the English language with these helpful examples from Suzy Ditchburn and her daughter Lucy.

Letters and Sounds

Phonics Screening Check


The phonics screening check is a quick and easy check of your child's phonics knowledge. It helps the school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress. The national phonics screening check was introduced in 2012 to all Year 1 pupils in the country.




Year 1 Phonics Trends