Holy Family Catholic Primary School

Phonics & Spelling

At Holy Family Catholic Primary School, we believe that central to learning is creating a life long love of reading and books. This starts from the first moment that children enter our Reception class where we encourage and create opportunities to read, write and show interests in letters, words, sounds and books. ​

We follow the Letters and Sounds phonic programme. Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read and write by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children enabling them to become fluent readers and writers.   There are six overlapping phases.

The table below is a summary based on the Letters and Sounds guidance for Practitioners and Teachers. The Year groups listed in brackets suggest the age that children are taught each phase, but some children will progress more rapidly than others.


Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One (Nursery/Reception)

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including   environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)

Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.


For more detailed information, please visit: http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/


Children in Year 1 will complete the Phonic Screening Check during the Summer Term. We strive for all of our children to pass the Phonic Screening Check and additional support will be put in place for those children who require it. The children who do not achieve the pass mark in Year 1 will take the test in the following academic year, when they are in Year 2.

At KS2, those children who do not pass the Phonic Screening recheck will follow the SoundsWrite phonics programme.



Throughout the school, spellings are taught using the National Curriculum objectives for each year group. The focus of spelling sessions is to review teach, practise and apply taught spelling patterns in a way that children can apply in their writing. Each child has the opportunity to access an online learning program called Spelling Shed. Click here to access the Spelling Shed platform.

Last update: 2020-10-01

Kendal Road, Boothstown, Manchester M28 1AG