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Marlpool Infant School

Phonics and Reading

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007.

It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. The majority of our phonics teaching is planned using the letters and sounds programme supported by the LCP phonics programme.

At Marlpool we have a 20 minute daily phonics session. Children are continually assessed to ensure that they are moved through the phases at the appropriate pace.

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


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


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


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


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.


Children will read a minimum of twice a week within school. Parents are encouraged to read with their child as much as possible out of school and record this in the child’s book.

At Marlpool we do not follow a single particular scheme for reading; we have lots of reading books from a range of schemes to interest all children which are grouped and placed into coloured book bands. The books within each book band are carefully graded according to the level of phonic knowledge and decoding skills needed in order to read them, as well as the level and complexity of sentence structures and comprehension skills needed as the level of text increases.

Children will read a range of fiction and non-fiction books and progress through the book bands at their own pace and are encouraged to choose their own books. When your child begins a new book band an insert will be placed into their reading record to provide some simple ways for you to support your child whilst reading within that particular band.

The children also take part in shared reading on a daily basis as part of our literacy teaching and have planned guided reading sessions once a week.