Ward Jackson Church of England Primary School

"All smiles returned"


Phonics and EY Reading


Subject Leaders: Mrs Allen and Mrs Campbell


Letters and Sounds 

The school uses Letters and Sounds to help support the delivery of phonics in school. We use Letters and Sounds as a fun and interactive way to support children in learning how to read and write.

The alphabet contains only 26 letters. Spoken English uses around 44 sounds (phonemes). These phonemes are represented by letters (graphemes). In other words, a sound can be represented by a letter (e.g. ‘s’ or ‘h’) or a group of letters (e.g. ‘th’ or ‘ear’).

Once children begin learning sounds, they are used quickly to read and spell words. 

Phonics is taught daily to the children from Nursery to Year 1. 

In Nursery, Phase 1 phonics begins with many activities to develop speech, listening and attention. Activities are planned which will help children to listen attentively to the sounds that they hear around them, such as the sounds in the environment and sounds in spoken language. Children are taught a wide range of nursery rhymes/ songs and learn to listen attentively to stories.  

Ways that you can support your child at home:

  • Listen and learn the Jolly Phonics song found on YouTube
  • Play games such as Letter/ Sound hopscotch or I spy by sound- talking a word e.g. I spy a m-a-t - mat.  
  • Play ‘What do we have in here?’ Put some toys or objects in a bag or a box and pull one out at a time. Say the first sound of the name of the toy or object by repeating it, for example, ‘c c c c – car’, ‘b b b b – box’, ‘s s s - snake’.

Phase 2, 3, 4 and 5 are taught in Reception and Year 1. 

In Reception and Year 1, children will continue practising what they have learned from phase 1, including ‘sound-talk’. They will also be taught the phonemes (sounds) for a number of graphemes (letters). 

Ways that you can support your child at home:

  • You can find free games/ activities on: https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ParentsMenu.htm
  • Sing the alphabet song
  • Play ‘Pairs’, turning over two words at a time trying to find a matching pair. This is especially helpful with the tricky words (words that can't be sounded out):

           Phase 2: the, to, I, no, go 

           Phase 3: he, she, we, me, be, you, all, are, her, was, they, my 

           Phase 4: have, said, like, so, do, some, come, little, were, there, when what, out, one. 


As the children progress, they will learn word building, reading and writing skills for life. Reading fluency is an essential life skill; we therefore carefully monitor any child who may struggle to still grasp fluent reading by the end of year 2. We use a Fresh Start Phonics Scheme in KS2, which provides an alternative approach to Letters and Sounds whilst still developing the necessary age-related expectations in relation to knowledge and comprehension.  We also monitor estimated oral reading fluency across KS2 via Star Reader Tests. 


EY Reading Scheme

At Ward Jackson Church of England Primary School, we use phonetically modified reading books (for phonetic application) in conjunction with the PM Reading Scheme; we use both text resources to help deliver our teaching of reading. This allows children the opportunity to make rapid progress in their reading development as they experience books which are both phonetically rich (targeted towards specific GPCs) and books which are more organic and cover a range of reading foci. This varied mixture of reading material quickly accelerates both the word reading progression of our young readers and the development of reading knowledge and comprehension skills.  

To find out more about the PM Reading Scheme, please click on the link below:

PM Reading