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Aldercar Infant & Nursery School

AldercarInfant & Nursery School

Where the children are the stars

Reading and Phonics


High-quality phonics is not just a ‘strategy’; it is a body of knowledge, skills and understanding that enables the individual to become proficient in all aspects of literacy.  The Rose Review (a government commissioned report), recommended that high-quality, systematic phonic programmes be introduced into schools to improve children’s reading skills.

 At Aldercar, we acted on this recommendation and use a government validated synthetic phonics programme ‘Phonic Bug’ which is based on the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme. We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers and encourage our pupils to read for enjoyment. We recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills. Our Phonics policy is available here.

 Phonics is taught from Reception to Year 2, on a daily basis for approximately 20 minutes. Each daily session follows the same structure: Revisit/Recap; Teach; Practise; Apply.  Children are taught actions for each phoneme to provide a multi-sensory approach, and further support SEN and hearing impaired children.

In Reception, the children get the opportunity to independently practise and apply what they have learnt in the focused session, during their child-initiated learning.

In KS1 children are encouraged to use and apply their knowledge during other subjects of the curriculum.

 In Nursery, phonics is an integral part of everyday learning and the children are exposed to aspects of Phase One (see below) throughout every session.

Termly, staff discussions take place to ensure progression is being achieved by all students, and to identify and support any individuals who are not achieving expected levels of progression.

 There are six phases. The table below is a summary of each of these phases and at what point the children will access them.


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.


Children are given a choice of reading books which match their phonic knowledge & reading ability. They are given a book which they can read independently, and another which they may need some support with reading.

 Children read a minimum of twice a week within school. Parents/carers are encouraged to read with their child as much as possible out of school and record this in the child’s home/school book. 

 We have a wide variety of interesting reading books in school to develop and nurture a love of reading in all children. Children will read a range of fiction and non-fiction books and progress through the book bands at their own pace. 

 The school has an online reading scheme called 'Bug Club' where children can read books at home and develop their reading and comprehension skills with the games and quizzes the site provides.

Additionally, all children are encouraged to borrow books from our school library, on a weekly basis to foster a love of reading. We aim to build the children’s imaginations, and enjoyment of stories, through exposure to high quality children’s literature. 

 We run parent/carers workshops throughout the year for phonics and reading to help parents/carers work alongside their child’s learning. Look out for these on our newsletters!!