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Phonics at St Joe's

Phonics at St Joseph's


What is Phonics?

Phonics is a method for teaching children to read by linking together sounds (phonemes) and the symbols we use to represent them (graphemes). Phonics has been taught  in schools now for over two decades and it’s proven to be a very successful method for teaching early reading in children. 


At St Joseph's we follow a structured scheme for teaching phonics called 'Letters and Sounds', it sets out six different phases that are taught in a specific order to help children slowly work their way up to more difficult sounds and words.


Phase 1

In the first phase of teaching phonics, the focus is placed mostly on teaching children how to recognise certain sounds and some simple words. 

Phase 2 

Phase 2 is where the teaching begins to focus more on the sounds that letters symbolise - otherwise known as phonemes. In the English language there are 44 different phonemes! Phonemes can be made up of one or two letters. Children will also begin to learn to write and spell some simple words.

Phase 3 

Phase 3 involves learning about the rest of the phonemes that weren’t covered in Phase 2 - including two-letter sounds and more difficult phonemes. By the end of phase 3 children should be able to recognise and recall all 26 letters of the alphabet.

Phase 4 

There are no new phonemes to be learnt during this phase of phonics teaching. Instead, the main focus at this stage is for children to become more confident at blending the phonemes they’ve already learnt.

Phase 5 

In Phase 5, children are introduced to new graphemes and phonemes. This new set includes alternate spellings and phoneme combinations that create different sounds

Phase 6 

In Phase 6 the focus is for children to become more confident in their reading and spelling.

Ms Payne (our fabulous Reception teacher) has recorded some short videos (see below) in the order that the sounds are taught.