Phonics and Teaching Reading


We use the Letters and Sounds Phonics programme, Spelling Guidance from the New Curriculum, Phonics Bug and Grammar and Spelling Bug to support delivery of our Phonics Sessions. The Letters and Sounds programme is a DfE document which aims to develop children’s speaking and listening skills as well as prepare them for learning to read by increasing their phonic knowledge. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills to children.

In EYFS and KS1, these sessions are delivered at least once daily for 20 minutes. Morning sessions are differentiated according to the needs of the children and afternoon sessions are taught as whole class, with some activities for independent learning. Each Phonics Session will consist of four parts: Review, Teach, Practise, Apply. These sessions will give daily opportunities for blending and segmenting.

Phases 1 to 3 of Letters and Sounds are taught in Amber class and Phases 4 and 5 are taught in Diamond.  In Year 2, the children focus on using phonics for writing and spelling.


Reading is much more than the decoding of black marks on a page. It is a process that requires understanding and response to all types of writing. We aim to encourage reading for pleasure, where stories are shared, authors recommended and a lifelong love of reading is developed.

We support the children’s reading with Phonics Bug books and a banded Reading Scheme which incorporates a range of genres from Oxford Reading Tree, Ginn Lighthouse and Rigby Stars.

The teaching of decoding strategies is the first approach for children to learn to read at St Mary’s but many other elements are agreed classroom practice throughout the school. Click on the link to the Reading at St Mary's document for further information.


Please click on the links below to find out more about Phonics and Reading at St Mary's:

St Mary's Phonics Policy

Jolly Phonics actions

Phoneme pronunciation video

What is the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check?

Phase 3 (Reception) phonemes

Phase 5 (Year 1) phonemes

Tricky words

Reading at St Mary's

Amber reading and phonics presentation Autumn term

Phonemes taught in Amber class: Phase 2 and Phase 3