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Phonics at Nettleham Infant School


At Nettleham Infant School we teach Phonics through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised program. 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

words orally.


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.

Phonics and reading in school

Still image for this video

Each year the Summer Reading Challenge has a new theme. For 2023, The Reading Agency is teaming up with Youth Sport Trust for ‘Ready, Set, Read!’ a sports and games themed Challenge that will encourage play and participation – however that best suits children taking part. 

Find out more about ‘Ready Set, Read!’ here.

Phonics Screen Information

Reading Well for children provides quality-assured information, stories and advice to support children’s mental health and well-being. Books have been chosen and recommended by leading health professionals and co-produced with children and families. The booklist is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11), but includes titles aimed at a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers.