Phonics at Nettleham Infant School
At Nettleham Infant School we teach Phonics through the Letters and Sounds system. This introduces children to letter sounds and representation through a graduated 5 Phase System.
During Phase One, there is no expectation that children are introduced to letters
(graphemes). Of course some children may bring knowledge of letters from
home, and be interested in letters they see around them on signs, displays
and in books. Practitioners and teachers should certainly respond to children’s
comments and queries about letters and words in print.
Children entering Phase Two will have experienced a wealth of listening activities,
including songs, stories and rhymes. They will be able to distinguish between speech
sounds and many will be able to blend and segment words orally. Some will also be able
to recognise spoken words that rhyme and will be able to provide a string of rhyming
words, but inability to do this does not prevent moving on to Phase Two as these
speaking and listening activities continue.
The purpose of this phase is to teach at least 19 letters, and move children on from oral
blending and segmentation to blending and segmenting with letters. By the end of the
phase many children should be able to read some VC and CVC words and to spell them
either using magnetic letters or by writing the letters on paper or on whiteboards. During
the phase they will be introduced to reading two-syllable words and simple captions. They
will also learn to read some high-frequency ‘tricky’ words: the, to, go, no.
Children entering Phase Three will know around 19 letters and be able to blend
phonemes to read VC words and segment VC words to spell. While many children will
be able to read and spell CVC words, they all should be able to blend and segment CVC
The purpose of this phase is to teach another 25 graphemes, most of them comprising
two letters (e.g. oa), so the children can represent each of about 42 phonemes by a
grapheme (the additional phoneme /zh/ found in the word vision will be taught at Phase
Five). Children also continue to practise CVC blending and segmentation in this phase
and will apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple
two-syllable words and captions. They will learn letter names during this phase, learn to
read some more tricky words and also begin to learn to spell some of these words.
Children entering Phase Four will be able to represent each of 42 phonemes by a
grapheme, and be able to blend phonemes to read CVC words and segment CVC words
for spelling. They will have some experience in reading simple two-syllable words and
captions. They will know letter names and be able to read and spell some tricky words.
The purpose of this phase is to consolidate children’s knowledge of graphemes in
reading and spelling words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words.
Children entering Phase Five are able to read and spell words containing adjacent
consonants and some polysyllabic words.
The purpose of this phase is for children to broaden their knowledge of graphemes and
phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative
pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant. Some of the
alternatives will already have been encountered in the high-frequency words that have
been taught. Children become quicker at recognising graphemes of more than one letter
in words and at blending the phonemes they represent. When spelling words they will
learn to choose the appropriate graphemes to represent phonemes and begin to build
word-specific knowledge of the spellings of words.