At Blackheath Primary School, our phonics programme is based upon the progression of ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ which was validated by the Department for Education and Skills in 2021. Our teachers plan a daily, systematic programme that progresses through phonetic phases of learning which is taught from entry to our school in Reception and Year One. Sessions are fast paced, interactive and challenging to ensure pupils progress quickly and acquire the phonetic knowledge and decoding skills required for early reading

You can download our phonics and early reading policy here:

BPS Phonics and early reading policy (1)

Children are also encouraged to apply their phonics skills across all curriculum areas and they all receive a home reading book that is entirely decodable containing sounds they have been taught to further apply their phonic skills at home.

By the end of Year One,  children should have completed our phonics programme and moved onto our spelling scheme where they learn more complex English spelling rules. Our children’s progress is regularly reviewed by the teachers, and if any child is seen to remember their phonics in the lesson, they are supported swiftly with additional, same day keep up phonic interventions to catch up and address any gaps in their phonetic knowledge.

Please click on the link below to download our full Phonics and Reading Intent document. This sets out the knowledge and skills we would like our children to know and be able to do by the end of each year group and  key stage.

BPS Phonics and Reading Intent and curriculum 2021

For more detailed information, visit the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds website or click here to download the full overview of what we teach and when in Reception and Year One.

Your child will learn lots of important technical vocabulary in their phonics lessons. Please click to download the Phonics-Terminology they will use.

Phonics consists of:

  • identifying sounds in spoken words;
  • recognising the common spellings of each phoneme (sound);
  • blending phonemes into words for reading;
  • segmenting words into phonemes for spelling.

Below is information about our phonics, and the progression we follow.

Foundations for Phonics

If your child attends our nursery, they will learn lots of pre-phonetic skills which will help them when they are ready to learn their letter sounds.The skills they will learn and practise all year include:

  • Environmental sounds
  • Instrumental sounds
  • Body percussion
  • Rhythm and rhyme
  • Alliteration
  • Voice sounds
  • Oral blending and segmenting

Ways to help your child at home

Sound talk objects at home e.g c-u-p, b-a-th, s-o-ck

Sing Nursery Rhymes

Talk to your child about sounds they can hear on the way to school


Phase 2

This is taught in the Autumn term in Reception. During Phase 2, we introduce letter sounds so that children can begin to identify letters by their sound and name so they can develop the skills for segmenting (breaking down words for spelling) and blending (merging sounds together to read a word) for reading simple words. e.g s-a-t.

They will begin to learn some digraphs (where two letters make one sound e.g zz qu ch sh th ng nk) as well as words that end with the sound /s/ e.g hats, sits

They also learn some tricky words that can’t be spelt phonetically  –is,  I,  the, put,  pull,  full,  as, and, has, his, her, go, no, to, into, she, push, he, of, we, me, be

By week 2, your child will start to bring home a reading book. The first two books will only contain pictures to discuss. This is while your child learns important book habits and to develop their story language. From week four, your child will bring home a book with words containing sounds they have learnt at school. This should be practised independently at home using the decoding skills they have learnt. Please see our reading page or ask your child’s class teacher for more information about how this works.

Ways to help your child at home

Practise their letter sounds and listen to them decode words in their reading book.

Play I spy

Use magnetic letters on the fridge to help spell words

Group objects together that start with the same sound.

Holding a pencil – The ‘pincer’ movement needs to be practised. This is important as it enables children to hold a pencil properly as they write. Provide them with kitchen tongs and see if they can pick up small objects. Move on to challenging them to pick up smaller things, for example, little cubes, sugar lumps, dried peas, lentils, first with chopsticks, then with tweezers.


Phase 3

Phase 3 begins in the Spring Term. This is the phase where children also learn more digraphs (where two letters make one sound e.g ai  ee

oa oo oo ar or ur ow oi  er ) and trigraphs (three letters that make one sound e.g air, igh).

They will also learn some more tricky words and what part makes them tricky  – was, you, they, my, by, all, are, sure, pure

Ways to help your child at home

Continue to play with magnetic letters, using some of the two grapheme (letter) combinations:

r-ai-n = rain blending for reading rain = r-ai-n – segmenting for spelling b-oa-t = boat blending for reading boat = b-oa-t – segmenting for spelling

h-ur-t = hurt blending for reading hurt = h-ur-t – segmenting for spelling

Ask the teacher for a list of tricky words


Phase 4

Your child will move onto Phase 4 of the programme in the Summer term. Our school expectation is that children will be secure in phase 4 at the end of the Reception year and ready to move onto the Year One programme. In phase 4, we teach the children to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants, longer words, compound words e.g bed-room and words ending with the suffixes -ing / -ed / -ed /-est

Children will be taught to blend and segment adjacent consonants in words and apply this skill when reading and spelling.

Children will move from CVC words (pot, sheep) to CVCC words (pots) and CCVC words (spot) to CCVCC words (spots) and then CCCVC  and CCCVCC words.

The new tricky words they will learn are – said, so, have, like, some, come, love, do, were, here, little, says, there, when, what, one, out, today

Ways to help your child at home

Look out for words in the environment, such as on food packaging, which your child will find easy to read, for example, lunch, fresh milk, drink, crisps,

Phase 5

This is taught throughout Year 1.

During phase 5 we will be teaching children to recognise and use alternative ways of pronouncing the graphemes (letters) and spelling the phonemes (sounds) already taught  e.g. the ‘c’ in coat and city.

They will also be taught to read an increasing number of high frequency words automatically. Knowledge and skills of phonics will still be the prime approach to reading and spelling.

At the end of Year One, the children undertake a statutory phonic screening check to assess their phonic knowledge. This data is shared with the local authority.


Ways to help your child at home

Read with your child – ask your child to attempt unknown words, using their phonic skills and knowledge. Make sure they blend all through the word.

Talk about the meaning of the book, too – take time to talk about what is happening in the book, or things that they found really interesting in an information book. Discuss the characters and important events. Ask them their views. Provide toys, puppets and dressing-up clothes that will help them to act out stories.

Explain the meaning of words (vocabulary) that your child can read but may not understand, for example, flapped, roared.

Write a shopping list together.


No nonsense spelling

This  is the programme your child will move on to once they have completed and passed the phonics screening check at the end of year One. This is taught throughout Year 2. This phase teaches the children to read and spell an increasing number of complex words and how to change words according to different spelling rules and patterns.

It also enables them to independently break down longer words and teaches them strategies to become independent and confident spellers.

Ways to help your child at home

Visit the local library

Listen to them read their school home reader each night (it doesn’t have to be the whole book!)

Leave them a message on the fridge and encourage them to write back to you

Write an email together

Read to your child at bedtime and let them choose the story

Please click on the link below to view how Phonics is taught at our school in more detail

Phonics at Blackheath Primary School


Other Useful Websites;

games and ideas for helping your child to read

Information about the national bookstart scheme

Useful ideas, activities and features you can try at home

Pronouncing the Phonemes –