Powell's C of E Primary School

Powell's C of E Primary School images


Phonics at Powell's 

At Powell’s we follow the Letters and Sounds principles and practice of high quality phonics (Primary National Strategy 2007). Phonics is taught daily as a discrete lesson for at 20-25 minutes in both Early Years and Key Stage 1. Children start their phonics lessons right from the very beginning of school. Following the sequence of learning set out in Letters and Sounds, each sound is introduced using the actions and sounds from Jolly Phonics. By using this multisensory and kinaesthetic approach of learning, children are more actively engaged in their phonics lessons, ideal for wriggly 4 year olds!

Each lesson follows the set structure from Letters and Sounds; 1. Revisit and Review - children begin each session by reviewing their past learning and the sounds they already know. 2. Teach - introducing the new content. 3. Practise - time is then spent practising their blending and segmenting skills. 4. Apply - looking at how this phonic knowledge can be applied to enable us to blend (read) and segment (spell/write).

The six-phases of the Letters and Sounds document provides a structure for teachers from which teachers plan for children’s progression. The boundaries between the phases are not fixed, allowing teachers to plan across the phases depending on the individual class needs. Teachers’ assessment of individual children will inform the rate at which their children are able to progress through the phases.

Early Years (Reception): In the Autumn Term, Early Years (our Reception children) will be introduced to all of the sounds in Phase 2 and Phase 3. Time will then be spent reviewing this knowledge and learning how to apply it to read and write words independently. Depending upon the nature of each cohort, we will aim to briefly introduce Phase 4 in the final half of the summer term. The children in Early Years will have discrete phonics teaching input daily by teachers and practitioners. The formal sessions last for twenty to twenty-five minutes and phonics activities are also part of the continuous provision that the children can access independently throughout the day. Phase 1 is also taught alongside Phases 2 – 6 as although it is introduced in Pre School, the concepts of rhythm and rhyme etc covered in Phase 1 are important skills needed for spelling.

Year 1: In the first half of the Autumn term, Year 1 will revise Phases 2 and 3 to ensure that previous learning is consolidated and embedded alongside Phase 4 and will then move on to Phase 5. At the end of Year 1 the children will carry out the Dfe Phonics Screening Check.

Year 2: It is important that the five phases are embedded and the children have a solid understanding of the key knowledge and skills before the final sixth phase is introduced in Year 2. Phase 6 mainly focuses on common spelling rules and patterns.

KS2: For any children who still need phonics support beyond Year 2 there are a range of strategies and resources we use. Phonics lessons will continue and support programs such as Nessy are also be used.


Progression of Phonics Skills 







Classroom Support for Phonics

Each classroom in Early Years and Key Stage 1 has a Phonics Working Wall. Here the sounds that the children are currently working on are displayed with words and sentences containing those sounds. The wall also displays the sounds that the children have already covered to help keep this knowledge prominent in their minds and so the children can clearly see how these sounds are written. 

The children’s phonic knowledge is assessed regularly and the phonic lessons are planned in response to this. Any children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge are quickly identified and given support in the form of additional phonics sessions often as part of a small group.

All phonics sessions, both whole class and small group, are delivered in a fun and engaging way. A wide range of resources and strategies are used to ensure the children are interactive. Here are a few examples of some core strategies and resources we use:


Clear Pronunciation –pure sounds only


Phoneme Frame – put each sound in a box


Sound Buttons – mark each sound with a dot or dash


Phoneme Fingers – count the sounds


Sound Fans – ‘use your fan to show me…’