Naphill and Walters Ash School



Phonics Policy

At Naphill and Walters Ash we strive to ensure that all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One and believe this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with a whole language approach that promotes a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ culture.

The Rose Report (2006) emphasised high quality phonics as an important part of the word decoding skills required by children to develop higher level whole language and comprehension skills. In the foreword of the Reading Framework (2021) it mentions that the effective teaching of reading requires not just a systematic synthetic phonics programme but its consistent implementation in every class.

This policy is aimed at reinforcing a consistent, high quality approach to teaching phonics across the Foundation Stage (Reception), Key Stage One (KS1) and on into Key Stage Two (KS2) for children who still need this further support.

Phonics is taught daily in Reception and KS1 in ability streamed groups. We follow the Letters and Sounds teaching order and use many elements and resources from the Read, Write Inc. scheme. In KS2 interventions are based around the use of Read, Write Inc in order to meet each child’s specific needs.


  • To teach children aural discrimination, phonemic awareness and rhyme to aid reading, writing and spelling development.
  • To encourage the use of segmenting and blending so that decoding and encoding skills provide a sound foundation for reading, writing and spelling.
  • To ensure the teaching of phonics is lively, interactive and investigative.
  • To ensure children use phonic awareness across the curriculum.
  • To ensure that children know the 44 phonemes (sounds) within the English language.
  • To ensure that children recognise the graphemes (written representation of sounds) within words and associate them with the appropriate phoneme when reading.
  • To ensure children are taught strategies to identify and decode ‘tricky words’ within the English language.


  • To provide consistent, high quality phonics teaching that ensures all children have a strong foundation to tackle the complex processes of reading and writing.
  • To ensure that the teaching of synthetic phonics is systematic and progressive throughout Reception, KS1 and into KS2 for those children needing interventions to support phonetic knowledge and understanding.
  • To ensure that children have sound phonetic knowledge, understanding and skills so they can decode and encode words confidently and engage with higher order reading and writing skills.


  • Each classroom will have an age appropriate phonics display (using Read, Write Inc images and resources) concentrating on both sounds and ‘tricky’ words.
  • In all year groups teachers and support staff will work with all ability groups on a rotational basis to ensure all children have access to high quality phonics teaching.

Reception Year

  • Children should be confident in all aspects of Phase 1 and introduced to all single grapheme Phase 2 and sets 6 and 7 of Phase 3 sounds through daily phonic sessions for twenty minutes whole class during the first half of the Autumn Term. Children will also be taught how to form each single grapheme using the Read, Write Inc phrases.
  • Phonics skills are also embedded in writing and reading tasks in Literacy sessions.
  • Groups are differentiated from the second half of the Autumn Term and in the second half of the Spring Term the phonic sessions become longer.
  • The aim is that all children will have completed Phase 3 by the end of Reception and have growing confidence segmenting and blending Phase 4 words in preparation for Year 1.
  • Children working below expected level to participate in phonics intervention.
  • Children are introduced to ‘tricky words’ and aim to read and begin to spell the first 100 high frequency words before they enter Year 1.

Year 1

  • Children have high quality daily phonic sessions for twenty-five to thirty minutes. Groups are differentiated to ensure all children reach their full potential.
  • The aim of Year 1 is to complete Phase 4 and 5 and be ready to begin Phase 6 upon entry to Year 2. Children are exposed to sounds beyond their ability even those in the lowest ability group.
  • Children continue to work on ‘tricky words’ and aim to read and write the first 100 high frequency words and all Year 1 Common Exception Words before the end of Year 1.
  • Children in Year 1 working below expected level to use Read Write Inc. phonetically decodable books as a reading intervention.

Year 2

  • Children have high quality daily phonic sessions for twenty-five to thirty minutes. Groups are differentiated to ensure all children reach their full potential.
  • Those children who failed the Phonics Screening test in Year 1 should receive extra intervention.
  • The aim in Year 2 is to ensure that all children have successfully completed Phase 6 while revisiting earlier phases to reinforce previous learning.
  • Children should consolidate first 100 high frequency words and Year 1 common exception words and aim to read and write Year 2 common exception words.

Key Stage Two

  • Children in Year 3 who have not reached a sufficiently proficient level in phonetic awareness and application should be given access to a daily phonics session across the Autumn Term. Children who by the end of the Autumn Term have still not reached a sufficiently skilled level of phonetic awareness will have intervention programmes arranged to provide for this need.
  • Children in KS2 who have not attained a sufficient skill level in phonetic awareness and application will have provision in small intervention groups in regards to phonics and/or spelling across the key stage.


Planning for phonics will be done separately from English but with the understanding that good phonics teaching should link to the literacy needs of the children within English lessons and across the curriculum.

Each phonics lesson should include the following sections:

  • Revise – review previously taught phonemes-graphemes and words
  • Teach – introduce new phoneme-grapheme and words
  • Practise – develop GPCs, read and spell words
  • Apply – use new grapheme and words in games and activities to secure knowledge
  • Assess – monitor progress within each phase to inform planning

A good lesson should include – teacher lead exposition, whole class, group and individual work, tricky word vocabulary and lots of praise!


In Reception and KS1 phonics homework is sent home weekly. Phonetically decodable reading books are sent home once children recognise initial graphemes and are able to segment and blend words with growing confidence. Children have ‘tricky’ words sent home.

A Phonics meeting is held for Reception parents in the Autumn Term and a Phonics Screening meeting held for Year 1 Parents in the Spring Term.


Teachers to use daily formative assessment to inform future lessons and summative assessment (half termly) to inform effective provision for all children, using this to plan and deliver well differentiated lessons that engage and challenge children within the lesson.

Pupil progress is assessed using our phonics assessment sheets for each Phase, children are grouped by ability and gap analysis is completed for each group. This summative assessment should inform the rate at which children progress through the phases and secure a sound understanding of phonetics. Towards the Phonics Screening check Year 1 pupils will be given practise papers to identify specific skills or any gaps in learning.

All Year 1 children take the statutory Phonics Screening Check in the Summer Term. Those who do not meet the pass mark will be given support and intervention programmes in Year 2 to provide them with sufficient knowledge and understanding to re-take the Phonics Screening Check and obtain a pass mark. Those children who do not obtain the required level set by the Phonics Screening Check will receive phonics teaching in the first term of Year 3 – which will be further supported throughout the year and across KS2 with a phonics and/or spelling intervention programme.






Glossary of Phonic Terms:

Phoneme – the smallest unit of sound in a word

Grapheme – a letter or group of letters representing one sound (phoneme)

GPC (grapheme phoneme correspondence) – the individual letters or letter strings which represent individual sounds

Vowels – in English, the vowels are a e i o and u, and sometimes y.

Consonants – a speech sound that is not a vowel, in English, b c d f g h j k l m n p q r s t v w x y z

Adjacent consonants / consonant clusters – two (or three) letters making two (or three) sounds (previously known as blends). Example: the first three letters of strap are adjacent consonants.

CVC, CCVC, CCVCC etc.- the abbreviations used to describe the order of sounds such as consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) and consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant words (CCVCC). Example: cat, ship and sheep are all CVC words. The words black and prize could be described as CCVC words.

Digraph – two letters which together make one sound. There are different types of digraph: vowel, consonant and split digraphs.

Consonant digraph – two consonants which make one sound. Example: sh, ch, th, ph

Vowel digraph – a digraph in which at least one of the letters is a vowel Example: ea ay ai ar

Split digraph – two letters, which work as a pair to make one sound, but are separated within the word. Example a-e as in make or late; i-e as in size or write.

Trigraph – three letters which together make one sound. Example: dge, igh

‘Special friend’ – phrase used by Read Write Inc. to describe any group of letters that make one sound (digraph, split diagraph or trigraph)

Fred-Talk – phrase used by Read Write Inc. to describe the process of sound talk (Fred the frog only speaks in sounds). Example: c-a-t (cat)

Blending – the process of using phonics for reading. Children identify and synthesise/blend the phonemes in order to make a word. Example: s-n-a-p, blended together, reads snap.

Segmenting – the process of using phonics for writing. Children listen to the whole word and break it down into the constituent phonemes, choosing an appropriate grapheme to represent each phoneme. Example: ship can be segmented as sh-i-p.

Fred-Fingers – phrase used by Read Write Inc. to describe the process of segmenting a word into sounds to spell. Children allocate one sound to each finger as they segment the word.





Appendix 1:

Letters and Sounds Overview (

Phase 1:

Concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonics work which starts in Phase 2.

Phase 1 is divided into seven aspects: General sound discrimination – environmental sounds; general sound discrimination – instrumental sounds; general sound discrimination – body percussion; rhythm and rhyme; alliteration; voice sounds; and oral blending and segmenting.

Each aspect containing three strands: tuning in to sounds (auditory discrimination), listening and remembering sounds (auditory memory and sequencing) and talking about sounds (developing vocabulary and language comprehension).

Phase 2:

Set 1: s, a, t, p
Set 2: i, n, m, d
Set 3: g, o, c, k
Set 4: ck, e, u, r
Set 5: h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss

As soon as each set of letters is introduced, children will be encouraged to blend words to read and segment words to spell.

Phase 3:

Set 6: j, v, w, x

Set 7: y, z, zz, qu

Consonant digraphs: ch, sh, th, ng, nk

Vowel digraphs: ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er

During Phase 3 children will also learn letter names though an alphabet song.

Phase 4:

No new graphemes are introduced. Focus on consolidation of Phase 2 and 3 sounds and reading and spelling words with adjacent consonants e.g. trap, string, milk.

Phase 5:

In Phase 5 children learn alternative graphemes for phonemes they already know e.g. ‘ai’ as in rain, ‘ay’ as in day and ‘a-e’ as in make.

ay ou ie ea oy ir ue aw ew oe au ow (snow) ey eer are a-e e-e i-e o-e u-e c g y y


They will also learn alternative pronunciations for graphemes e.g. ‘ea’ in tea, head and break.

Phase 6:

In Phase 6 the main aim is for children to become more fluent readers and more accurate spellers.

Appendix 2:

Read, Write Inc phrases to support learning of special friend sounds:

Phase 3:

ch – ch ch ch choo!

sh – shhhhhhh!

th – thank you

ng – a thing on a string

nk – I think I stink

ai – snail in the rain

ee – what can you see?

igh – fly high

oa – goat on a boat

oo – poo at the zoo

oo – look at a book

ar – start the car

or – shut the door

ur – nurse with a purse

ow – brown cow

oi – spoil the boy

ear – hear with your ear

air – that’s not fair!

ure – sure it’s pure

er – a better letter

Phase 5

ay – may I play?

ou – shout it out

ie – fried pie

ea – cup of tea

oy – toy for a boy

ir – whirl and twirl

ue – blue glue

aw – yawn at dawn

ew – chew the stew

oe – oh my toe!

au – launch the astronaut

ow – blow the snow

ey – wonky donkey

eer – cheerful deer

are – share and care

a-e – make a cake

e-e – even Steven

i-e – nice smile

o-e – phone home

u-e – huge brute

c – ice city

g – giant giraffe

y – fly by

y – hungry baby

Pronouncing sounds correctly: