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Phonics at Lydgate


At Lydgate J&I School children are taught phonics daily from Reception through to Year 2. We use the Letter and Sounds scheme of work.

Phonics is broken down into 6 phases of learning. From the age of about five, the children learn the sounds of the letters (not the letter names) and how these sounds can be blended together to make short words. Below is a more detailed description of each of the six phases.

A grapheme is a letter, or number of letters that represent a sound (phoneme) in a word.

Phase 1


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 2

(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 3

(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 4

(Reception/Year 1) - 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 5

(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 6

(Throughout Year 2 and beyond)

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


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