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“Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.”

(The National Literacy Trust website 2021)

At Telferscot we want all children to have a love of reading and writing and we use the teaching and learning of phonics to begin and build on this process.

How Phonics is taught at Telferscot

Children begin their phonics journey in Nursery at Telferscot.  During this year they learn all the skills and strategies to help them with their understanding and knowledge of phonemes and graphemes from Reception onwards. Nursery explore rhythm, rhyme and alliteration as well as noticing the different sounds they can hear in the environment for example the sound of a plane or a bird tweeting.  The children will also explore making different types of sounds using everyday objects and instruments. In Reception the children begin their explicitly taught phonics sessions which continue until the children are in Year Two. In Reception children are taught single sounds for example ‘s’ and ‘a’. Once they have explored all the single sounds they will then move onto digraphs and trigraphs, this is when two or three letters are put together to make one sound such as ‘igh’ or ‘ai’.  The children learn to read and write words containing these sounds.  As the children move into Year One they begin to learn that one phoneme can be represented in different ways for example ‘ai’, ‘ay’ and ‘a-e' (snail, play, cake) all make the same sound and the children learn when to use the different options in their writing and reading.  The sessions are taught daily using the Bug Club synthetic phonic scheme.  By the end of Year Two the children will have learnt all the phonics phases and have progressed to begin their spelling journey.  The children are also given their own Bug Club logins and are allocated one to two phonics e-reading books on a weekly basis that link to the phonemes covered during their lessons.  Alongside learning all the phonemes and corresponding graphemes children will also come across words which we call ‘tricky words’. These are words that however hard you try to use your phonics knowledge to read or spell them, it just won’t work - for example ‘the’ or ‘was’.  While some words will always be tricky, some will only be tricky for a while, as the children won't have learnt that particular phoneme for example ‘her’ and ‘like’.  There is also lots of singing, rhymes and stories throughout our phonics journey, with daily singing and story times in Early Years and a daily story time in Key Stage One.

What our children learn during Phonics


Autumn Term

Spring Term

Summer Term


Phase 1: environmental and instrumental sounds

Phase 1: rhyme, rhythm, alliteration

Phase 1: oral blending and segmenting


Phase 2: single phonemes

Phase 3: digraphs and trigraphs

Revisit phase 3 and begin phase 4 exploring consonant clusters

Year 1

Revisit phase 4 and begin phase 5: alternative phonemes and graphemes

Continue phase 5: alternative phonemes and graphemes

Revisit phase 5 and prepare for the phonic screening check

Year 2

Revisit phase 5 and begin phase 6: spelling rules and patterns

Revisit phase 6 spelling rules and patterns

Continue to learn new spelling rules and patterns