Return to Curriculum


We teach phonics to all children from Nursery to Year 2 using a systematic synthetic phonics programme called Letters and Sounds. Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource that was published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. The Letters and Sounds programme is designed to help teachers teach children how the alphabet works for reading and spelling by:

  • fostering children’s speaking and listening skills as valuable in their own right and as preparatory to learning phonic knowledge and skills;
  • teaching high quality phonic work at the point they judge children should begin the programme. For most children, this will be by the age of five with the intention of equipping them with the phonic knowledge and skills they need to become fluent readers by the age of seven.

Our phonics lessons allow children to become early readers by segmenting and blending sounds. The Letters and Sounds programme is structured in six phases.  However, the boundaries between the phases are deliberately porous so that no children are held back, or unduly pressured to move on before they are equipped to do so.  It follows that practitioners and teachers will need to make principled decisions based on reliable assessments of children’s learning to inform planning for progression within and across the phases.  The ‘typical’ age/phase progression is as follows:

Yr Group



Word List

Rec 2, 3, 4 Tricky/Unfamiliar words 100 High Frequency
Year 1 5 (revisit 2-4) Tricky/Unfamiliar words 100 High Frequency
Year 2 6 (revisit 5) Tricky/Unfamiliar words 200 Next Common Words

For more information or resources for each phase please see the Letters and Sounds website –


How to say letter sounds

This video, ‘Articulation of Phonemes’, will help you to check that you and your child are saying the phonemes correctly.