Duston Eldean Primary School

Teaching Phonics

Duston Eldean Phonics Teaching in Foundation and KS1

The new National Curriculum for Reading is split into two parts: Word Reading and Comprehension. The teaching of phonics is central to developing early reading skills. Therefore, in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children take part in daily 20 minute Phonics lessons.

How is phonics taught?

At Duston Eldean we teach phonics following the structure of the programme “Letters and Sounds”. We use this alongside other phonics resources to plan and deliver our sessions. This programme contains six overlapping phases shown below


Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One


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.


Letters and Sounds aims for children to become fluent readers by the age of seven. As part of this programme children will be regularly exposed to both real and nonsense words to help in the application of their phonics skills. Any children who have not finished the appropriate phase by the end of Key Stage One will continue with phonics work into Key Stage Two through various interventions.

The sequence of introduce, revisit, teach, practise and apply is followed in all Foundation Stage and KS1 groups to secure the progress of children across the years. Each class also supplements the programme with other known publications such as Ruth Miskin and Phonics Play. These help ensure the children receive personalised learning which is interactive and progressive.

How do we monitor and assess phonics?

Progress is monitored regularly by class teachers and the Literacy Leads. Teachers in KS1 complete weekly spelling tests. Each KS1 class also completes an unaided writing assessment four times in the year to assess children’s application of phonics skills.

Year 1 pupils take part in a phonics screening in June. The results of this test are reported on a pass/fail basis and if any child is not successful in this test they will retake it in Year 2.

Contact Us

School Business Manager

Duston Eldean Primary
Main Road Duston Northamptonshire NN5 6PP
Tel: 01604 752283