Phonics and Reading

We love reading at Robin Hood Primary School! We believe that developing strong reading skills is crucial for the children to develop a broad and balanced skill set, develop a love of learning and be able to access the wider curriculum. We encourage parents to read at home on a daily basis with their child. In school, we have several guided reading sessions every week where the teacher will hear each child read and help them to develop their comprehension skills.

The school follows DfE guidance and delivers ‘synthetic phonics’ through our teaching. We use a range of resources to compliment the teaching of synthetic phonics such as ‘Letters and Sounds’, ‘Phonics Bug’, ‘Bug Club’, ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ and ‘Spelling Bee’.

Phonics Overview

Letters and sounds

The school follows a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007 called ‘Letters and Sounds’. We use this alongside the Phonics Bug programme. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills and prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It is a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children with the aim of each child becoming fluent readers by age seven.

There are six overlapping phases. The table below is a summary based on the Letters and Sounds guidance for Practitioners and Teachers.


Year Group

Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One 


Activities are divided into seven aspects. These include, environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and 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.


Reading For Pleasure 

Please read our Reading for Pleasure statement to find out more about how we develop a love of reading.  

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