At Hayfield Cross the children in Reception and Key Stage 1 undertake daily phonics teaching to support their reading development.  We use 'Letters and Sounds' as a planning tool for phonics progression but bolster the children's learning with a wide range of resources to support this.  In Year 1 they complete the national phonics screening test to assess their standards  When the children have completed the phonics phases they begin a more focused spelling programme to continue to develop their learning.

What is phonics?

The phonics approach teaches children to decode words by sounds, rather than recognising whole words. The emphasis in early years teaching is on synthetic phonics, in which words are broken up into the smallest units of sound (phonemes).

Children are taught the letters (graphemes) that represent these phonemes and also learn to blend them into words. So, at its most basic, children are taught to read the letters in a word like c-a-t, and then merge them to pronounce the word cat.

A phoneme can be represented by one, two, three or four letters (such as "ough" in "dough").

Children are systematically taught around 40 phonic sounds and the combination of letters used to represent each sound.

Most sounds, however, have more than one way to spell them. For example, "e" in "egg" can also be spelt "ea" as in "head" or "ai" as in "said".

Graphemes are grouped together and children progress from one group to the other and will be tested at the end of year one, when they are six years old.



On the side of this page are useful weblinks for Phonics and below are Apps that you might like to obtain for mobile / tablet devices.

  • Little writer – Letter formation
  • Mr Thorne does phonics
  • Mr Thorne’s Spellbook
  • Mr Thorne’s Literacy Collection    
  • Meet the Alphablocks!
  • Geraldine – Tricky Words
  • Hairy Letters
  • Hairy Phonics 1
  • Hairy Words 1
  • Teach Your Monster to Read: First Steps
  • Jolly Phonics Letter Sounds
  • Pirate Phonics 1 : Kids learn to read!
  • hip hop hen: abc flashcard songs
  • Ladybird: I’m Ready for Phonics with Captain Comet


Phonics for Parents