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At Wittering Primary School in Reception, Key Stage 1 and those that need it in Key Stage 2, early reading is taught using a synthetic phonics approach for the most part. Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the phonemes to read, and how to segment phonemes to enable them to write words using graphemes (letters).

Children are taught to use their phonic skills and knowledge as their initial approach to reading, but are also taught how to read high frequency ‘tricky’ words and common exception words which do not completely follow phonics rules.

We follow the Twinkl scheme to teach phonics throughout our school.

Children have lots of time and opportunities to practise and expand their ability to read and spell words across all areas of learning.


During Reception the children learn the Level 2 and 3 phases:

Say a sound for each letter of the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs.

Read words consistent with phonic knowledge by blending. Letter names.

How to read and spell some common exception or ‘tricky’ words (e.g. to, you, her)

Year 1:

During Year 1 the children consolidate Level 3 where necessary and move onto Levels 4 and 5:

Apply phonic knowledge as the route to decode words.

Readily respond with correct sound to graphemes for all 40+ phonemes.

Read accurately by blending taught GPCs.

Read common exception words, words with suffixes eg. –s, -ing, -est, words with contractions and words of more than one syllable.

Read aloud accurately books consistent with phonic knowledge and reread books to build fluency and confidence.

Write words containing each of the 40+ phonemes taught.

Spell common exceptions words and days of the week.

Name the letters of the alphabet in order.

Add prefixes and suffixes eg. –s/-es, un-, -ing, -ed, -er, -est.

Apply simple spelling rules.

Year 2:

During Year 2 children consolidate previous levels where necessary and are taught Level 6:

Apply phonic knowledge as the route to decode words until automatic decoding is embedded and reading is fluent.

Recognise alternative sounds for graphemes and read words containing common suffixes and common exception words.

Read most words quickly and accurately without overt blending.

Segment to spell including alternative spellings, spell common exception words, words with contractions, words with a possessive apostrophe, add suffixes eg. –ment, -ness.

Distinguish between homophones and near homophones.

Statutory phonics screening check

At the end of year one, your child will undergo a statutory phonics screening check. This is a statutory assessment which began in 2012.

All children in Year 1 must take the check and any Year 2 children who did not meet the expected standard in the previous year will take the check again.

The phonics screening check is designed to confirm whether or not individual children have learnt phonics decoding to the appropriate standard.

We provide parents with phonics packs to provide further details about the check.

Here are some links which may help with phonics work at home.