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Phonics Overview

At Hazel Grove Primary School we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our English lessons to meet the needs of all our pupils. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the children develop their communication, language and literacy skills through direct experience in each of the learning areas. In addition to self-initiated activities there is direct literacy teaching, (daily phonics, early guided writing and reading skills).

In Key Stage 1 daily discrete phonics lessons are taught in ability groups, while children have daily mixed ability Literacy lessons with an emphasis on real texts. Children take part in both guided and individual reading sessions and have regular story times to develop a love of reading. Literacy skills are developed across the curriculum. Provision is made for children who require extra support through intervention programmes, differentiated class teaching and targeted teaching groups in Literacy. All Literacy skills are promoted across the curriculum and learning opportunities.

Phonics-starts in Nursery at Phase 1 and continues through to phase 6 throughout ReceptionYear 2 (and into Year 3 if necessary). Children are taught the appropriate phase for their ability, regardless of age.

Phonics and Reading

Reading is taught alongside the daily teaching of phonics using letters and sounds to support
phonological application. As part of this scheme the children will be taught to:

  • discriminate between the separate sounds in words;
  • learn the letters and letter combinations most commonly used to spell sounds;
  • read words by sounding out and blending their separate parts;
  • study written representations of a sound and how it looks;
  • recognise on sight vocabulary identified as ‘Whizzy words’

Phonics and Spelling

In EYFS and KS1, daily phonics is the key to the children’s learning of spelling. This is taught using the Letters and Sounds programme, using a variety of resources. Children are taught to blend sounds to read and segment to spell. At the same time they learn words which are not phonically regular (common exception words).

From year two and into KS2 the children move towards using their phonic knowledge to help them to understand spelling rules and patterns. Research suggests that weekly spelling tests are not the most effective way of learning and retaining the spelling of words. Instead, we teach children to use their growing understanding of the morphology and etymology of words to support their spelling. Helping the children to understand how to use and apply known spelling patterns (and to develop strategies to tackle tricky words) is the key to helping them to become successful spellers.