Phonics at Littleton Green

At Littleton Green, we believe that learning to read and establishing a love of books is an essential part of being a literacy learner. Therefore, we value the importance phonics has in the development of early reading and early writing. We deliver highly effective phonics lessons within Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One via daily lessons, supported by good quality, consistent resources. Children in Key Stage Two continue to be supported with their basic acquisition of phonics where necessary.

Approaches to teaching phonics are reviewed and refreshed regularly in order to follow the needs of each cohort and class of children. However, our objectives remain the same:

· To have timetabled, daily phonics lessons in Foundation Stage and Year One.

· To assess regularly and group children for their appropriate phase of learning.

· To develop a good knowledge of phonemes and graphemes.

· To be able to blend phonemes to decode (read) a word.

· To be able to segment and blend to be able to spell a word.

· To be able to transfer the skills from phonics into everyday learning, particularly w

riting and spelling.

· To be confident with segmenting and blending pseudo (alien / made up) words in preparation for the statutory Key Stage One phonics screen.

Children answering questions

From the Spring Term 2022, the Department for Education is recommending that all schools use a validated phonics scheme to teach phonics. In our school, we are using Fischer Family Trust “Success for All Phonics” in EYFS and making the transition to this scheme in Year One and Two.

Parent information

Parent’s Portal Link for Shared readers and other useful resources: Parent Portal (


Parents Guide to FFT Success for All Phonics                                                                     Parent Portal Pronunciation Videos


The Phases of Phonics

Pre Phonics – (Pre-school and Foundation Stage)

The focus for this phase is getting children to tune into different sounds.  They will play games which allow them to identify sounds from the environment and also make different sounds with their voice.

‘Sound talking’ is introduced, also called ‘say it fast’ and ‘break it down’.  Although the children do not see any written letters on the page they are taught to break simple words down into their component sounds and also put the sounds together to form a word. Eg:

Cat = c-a-t

Sheep = sh – ee- p

Rain = r-ai – n

Click = c-l-i-ck

When children can look at an object and say the sounds and put the sounds together to find an object they are ready for letters on the page.

 Steps 1 to 8 – (Foundation Stage)

Children are introduced to 19 letter sounds and their actions.  They will read and write them in simple words but also in short sentences and captions.  The letter sounds will be taught in a specific order:

SET 1 – s, a, t, p

SET 2 – i, n, m, d

SET 3 – g, o, c, k

SET 4 – ck, e, u, r

SET 5 – h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss

SET 6 – j, v, w

SET 7 – x, y, z

Children will also learn letter names by singing an alphabet chant.

To support grapheme/phoneme correspondence sound buttons or dots are used under each word to act as a ‘doorbell’.  Children are encouraged to ‘press’ the button to hear the sounds.   Phoneme frames are also used (3 boxes side by side with one sound in each box)  For children who find pencil control an issue at this stage; magnetic letters can be used as an alternative.

Sound Buttons:   

c      a      t                                  d     u     ck

.       .       .                                  .      .     ___

Phoneme frame:

c a t
d u ck

Steps 9 – 36 – (Foundation Stage)

More letter sounds are taught most of which comprise of two letter digraphs or 3 letter trigraphs. Reading and writing at this point extends to 3 or 4 word sentences. Again letters are taught in order:

Consonant digraphs – zz, qu, ch, sh, th, ng

Vowel digraphs – ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er

Steps 33 – 44 – (Year One)

These steps focus on alternative spellings and pronunciations, introducing the sounds listed below:

ay, ou, ie, ea, oy, ir, ue, aw, ew

Steps 45 – 56 – (Year One)

Sounds can be grouped into families and alternative pronunciations and spellings or sounds.  Sentences will be extended for children to read and write.

New sounds include:

a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e, -y, ow, soft c, soft g

Steps 57 – 68 – (Year One)

The last steps provide consolidation to all previous learning through Success for All phonics, it is taught alongside Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar targets.  Children will explore different spelling patterns and rules.

The last groups of letters to be covered are: ire, are, tch, oe, ph