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Kidsgrove Primary School

Empowering Learners...Growing Minds

Our Kidsgrove Phonics Approach

How do we teach Phonics at Kidsgrove? 


We start by teaching phonics in Nursery, building knowledge and skills in Reception and Key stage 1. 

At Kidsgrove Primary School, we follow the newly accredited Essential Letters and Sounds to ensure consistent high quality phonics. For more information, please follow this link:

The six phases of the Essential Letters and Sounds document provides a structure for the teachers to follow and plan children’s progression. The teachers carefully adapt their planning to meet the needs of the children within their class. The teacher’s individual assessments will inform the rate at which the children are able to progress through the phrases and adapt their pace accordingly., offering closing the gap interventions immediately if required.


Our ethos is 'KEEP UP not CATCH UP'

Nursery Phonics
It is expected that Nursery will introduce Phase 1 phonics through small focused groups and activities. This includes learning to make different sounds and developing listening skill. The key is developing vocabulary, language composition with the early introduction of graphemes (letters) and phonemes (sounds) When appropriate, the practitioners will then introduce the initial sounds and may begin to teach digraphs.

Reception Phonics

In the Reception Class we will revise all  letter sounds and learn new digraphs and trigraphs. At this stage the children are also becoming more confident with segmenting and blending sounds to read whole words. In the Reception class children are also taught words with 4 and 5 sounds in them and alternate ways to read and write different sounds. Assessments take place every 5 weeks to ensure pupils are retaining their learning and building fluency and automaticity (automatic reading skills) to ensure confident readers. 

We offer two lesson Phonics into reading and Phonics into spelling daily. 

Year 1 and Year 2 Phonics

The same approach as Reception continues into Year 1 and 2 to offer a consistent approach. The children learn to read and write a range of graphemes and alternate graphemes. Along side this the children are taught the ‘tricky words’ – high frequency words which do not follow the regular phonetic pattern and are an exception to the phonetic code. 

Phonics and reading activities are taught in whole class and small group situations 2 x per day. Your child will work with children who are at the same phonic and/or reading level to ensure fluency and automaticity.  This is so that the teaching can be focussed on their needs. 

Discreet phonic sessions take place daily for 15 - 20 minutes and there are also enhanced phonic activities within the indoor and outdoor environment available for the children to explore independently throughout the day.

Phonics provision is also supplemented by a wide range of speaking and listening, English, spelling and grammar activities.

Year 3 - 6 Phonics

If pupils are not where we expect in reading, due to poor decoding or fluency, then the teaching of synthetic phonics continue. This approach ensures that the gaps pupils have in learning are rapidly closed to allow them to become confident, fluent readers to further develop their comprehension skills. Each half term the pupils assessments will be used to plan the next steps in learning to ensure all pupils 'Keep up' and no pupils have to 'Catch up'

Our teaching sequence for phonics at Kidsgrove Primary School