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Thomas Eaton

Primary Academy

All for Learning and Learning for All




Our Approach to Phonics teaching:


We have introduced the revised ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds’ which is a complete systematic, synthetic phonics programme.


Little Wandle Letters and Sounds draws on the latest research into how children learn best; how to ensure learning stays in children’s long term memory and how best to enable children to apply their learning to become highly competent readers.


Phonics begins in Nursery – Daily ‘phase 1’ activities are introduced to embed the foundations for phonics. This will ensure children are well prepared to begin grapheme–phoneme correspondence and blending at the start of Reception. Daily phonic sessions continue into Year 1 and where applicable in Year 2.


Throughout the phonics programme, progress is tracked and monitored closely to identify children who require ‘keep up’ sessions. These short sessions will be specific to individual needs and will take place throughout the school day.


Children in Key Stage 2 will continue to receive ‘catch up’ interventions until they have a secure knowledge of phonic phases 1-5.


For more information on each phase, how phonics is taught in school and how you can support at home, please view the phases below and visit the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds website.


For parents – Letters and Sounds (


Phase One


The most important aspects of ‘Foundations for Phonics’ to develop in Pre-School and at home are:

• sharing high-quality stories and poems;

• learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes;

• playing games that develop listening and attention, including oral blending;

• developing high-quality language during daily conversations.


Sharing stories and poems

Children should have lots of opportunities to engage with books that fire their imagination and interest, as well as immerse them in language they would not otherwise be exposed to. They should also be provided with a range of high-quality books to choose and read (in their own words), as well as to share with an adult.


In Pre-School, children will share books as part of a class or key group and also one-to-one with an adult.


Learning nursery rhymes and action rhymes

Children need to experience a rich repertoire of nursery rhymes and action rhymes that include multi-sensory experiences, such as action rhymes in which children have to add claps, knee pats or foot stamps, or move in a particular way.


Incy Wincy Spider and More Nursery Rhymes


Incy Wincy Spider and More Nursery Rhymes for children! | Children Songs | Toddler Fun Learning - YouTube


Develop Listening and Attention  


Go on Listening Walks - Children need to learn to distinguish between different sounds in their environment for example, the difference between a:

•bus and car

•keys and coins

•hairdryer and vacuum

•train and plane

Developing this skill will support the children when learning to master oral blending. 


Speaking and Listening Game - Environmental Sounds


Listening Game | Phase 1 Phonics Listening and Attention Skills - YouTube


Oral Blending - Blend from the Box!


How to videos - Letters and Sounds (



Phase Two


In Reception, the children will start ‘Phase 2’ phonics by week 2.


Children will begin to use phonics language such as ‘grapheme’ and ‘phoneme’.


Grapheme- A letter or group of letters used to represent a particular phoneme when writing e.g. (the letter in print – ‘g’)


Phoneme- The smallest unit of sound that can be identified in words. We sometimes simply call this a ‘sound’, although it is helpful for children to use the term ‘phoneme’ from the beginning of our programme.


Children will begin to talk about ‘Tricky Words’.


Tricky words are high-frequency words that, although decodable in themselves, cannot be decoded by children using the GPCs they have been taught up to that point. Not all high-frequency words are ‘tricky words’. Many tricky words cease to be tricky in the later stages of our programme, as more GPCs are learned.


Please click on the link below to watch the videos on how to pronunce phase 2 and 3 sounds.


For parents – Letters and Sounds ( (Phase 2 Autumn 1)



Phase Three


In Reception, the children will start ‘Phase 3’ phonics in the Spring term.


During this phase, children will be introduced to ‘trigraphs’ as well as learning ‘new digraphs’.


Digraph- A grapheme using two letters to represent one phoneme. With children, we frequently reinforce it with the mantra ‘two letters, one sound’.


Trigraph- A grapheme using three letters to represent one phoneme. With children, we frequently reinforce it with the mantra ‘three letters, one sound’. 



Phase Four


In Reception, the children will start ‘Phase 4’ phonics in the Summer Term.


During this phase, children will continue to apply their knowledge of phase 2 and 3 sounds. They will also learn a new set of 'tricky' words'.


Phase Five


In Year 1, the children will start ‘Phase 5’ phonics during the Autumn term.


During this phase, children will be introduced to 'new digraphs' as well as lots of alternative spellings of previously learnt sounds.


At the end of Year 1, children will take the national Phonic Screening Test which tests children’s phonic knowledge. They are required to read real and alien words, applying the skills they have learnt. For more information on this, please click the link below:


DfE external template (



At Thomas Eaton Primary School we believe that reading should be a fundamental part of childhood and a skill which should be developed to support lifelong learning.

Our aim is to develop and embed a strong, sustainable reading culture within the school community.  Confident and competent readers will foster a love of reading through a rich and varied experience of texts, in which they are empowered to exercise freedoms of choice and independence.


Inspiring children to read is their fundamental right.  It underpins all learning and secures a good trajectory for personal development and an understanding the world in which they live.


We believe that a reading child is a successful child and that:

  • children deserve a rich curriculum which encourages extensive reading of books and other kinds of texts.
  • planning enables links across learning, which create a wide range of opportunities in which children can read for pleasure.
  • children will have the opportunity to experience whole books to support them in their understanding of literary structures and allow them to become absorbed in the story itself.
  • the active encouragement of reading for pleasure should be a core part of every child’s educational entitlement, whatever their background or attainment. Extensive reading and exposure to a wide range of texts make a huge contribution to students’ educational achievement.
  • children will be encouraged to read texts which reflect their own heritage and that of other cultural groups. 
  • all children should have access to a wide range of texts in different formats and genres and support in enjoying them where necessary.
  • the school will engage and support parents in enabling access to a full range of reading experiences.
  • school reading should not only be seen as synonymous with attainment and judgement as this could influence children’s perceptions of books and reading.
  • professional development and support for teachers will be provided to allow them to explore the huge range of printed reading materials available and to enable them to support children in their reading choices.


The school has a commitment to evaluate the outcomes of this ‘Reading for Pleasure’ statement and continually review practice to ensure all children become lifelong readers.

How we teach Reading


We use a range of strategies to teach reading. These include:

  •  Guided Reading: In Early Years and Key Stage 1, this occurs as an addition to our daily phonics teaching. Children read in a group matched to their reading ability. 

  • Whole class reading in Key Stage 2 based on our CUSP curriculum. Sessions focus on core skills including literal retrieval, inference, vocabulary/meaning and choice.  

  • Individual reading – younger children have frequent opportunities to read independently with an adult to practise phonic skills as well as fluency and comprehension.
  • Daily reading time – Class novels, non-fiction books, poems, newspapers.
  • Shared reading – whole class, modelled by the teacher with a focus on reading for pleasure.
  • Book Talk during story assemblies.
  • Story telling, particularly in Early Years where children are immersed in high quality texts to engage and delight. Children have ample opportunities to role-play, retell and reinact shared stories.

For support with reading at home, please refer to the following link which explains how you can share a book together and develop your child's life long love of reading.


Engaging parents - Letters and Sounds (

For book recommendations and author videos, please use the following link which offers a great choice of high quality texts to share at home.


Everybody Read Category: All primary ages - Letters and Sounds (

English Progression Document