Letters and Sounds

At Busill Jones Primary School, early reading is taught using synthetic phonics as the main approach to reading. Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds all through the word for reading, and how to segment the sounds in order to write words.

They are taught to use their phonic skills and knowledge as their first approach to reading, but are also taught high frequency words which do not completely follow the phonic rules. 

The school follows the government published programme “Letters and Sounds” using a variety of hands on interactive resources, for example, Phonics Play which provide a multisensory approach to learning phonics. 

We aim to teach high quality phonics to ensure the children have the best start possible in reading and writing. Phonics is the beginning of children’s body of knowledge, skills and understanding that are an essential part of learning to read and write.

 In order to read and understand texts children must learn to recognise and decode the words on the page. Good quality phonic teaching secures the skills of word recognition and decoding which allow children to read fluently. This will result in children being able to read for pleasure, then move onto children develop comprehension skills. 

These phonic skills need to be taught systematically. EXPECTATIONS AT BUSILL JONES PRIMARY SCHOOL 

PHASE 1 (Nursery/Pre-school): 

  • Showing an awareness of rhyme and alliteration (words that start with the same sounds)

  • Distinguishing between sounds in the environment and phonemes 

  • Exploring and experimenting with sounds and words

  • Beginning to orally blend and segment phoneme

PHASE 2 Learning graphemes 
During Phase 2 children will: 

  • Use these common consonants and vowels, children will blend them to read and segment them to spell, simple 3 phoneme words 

  • Understand that words are constructed from phonemes and that phonemes are represented by graphemes. 

  • Set 1 - s, a, t, p, 

  • Set 2 - i, n, m, d, 

  • Set 3 - g, o, c, k, 

  • Set 4 - ck, e, u, r, 

  • Set 5 - h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss,


In Phase 3 children will: 
• use more graphemes to blend to read and segment them to spell simple 3 and 4 phoneme words. • Recognising and read ‘tricky words’ (eg what, my, the, are) Learning one grapheme for each phoneme we have in English 
• Set 6 - j, v, w, x 
• Set 7 - y, z, zz, qu 
• Consonant digraphs: ch, sh, th, ng 
• Long vowel graphemes: ear, air, ure, er, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo 
PHASE 4 – no new sounds – adjacent consonants In phase 4 the children will learn to spell words with adjacent consonants: 
∙ CVCC (tent) said, so, he, she, we, me, be
 ∙ CCVC (flag) have, like, some, come, was, you 
∙ CCVCC (stomp) were, there, little, one, they, all, are 
∙ CCCVCC (sprint) do, when, out, what, my. Her 
• Recognising and read ‘tricky words’ e.g. do, when, out, what, my, her 


PHASE 5c – An introduction to ‘Multiple Spellings
In this phase children are taught multiple Spellings – new spellings for known sounds (spelling choices) 
∙ ai and ay ee and ea igh and ie oa and oe 
∙ ie, igh and i_e oa, oe and o_e ai, ay and a_e ee, ea and e_e 
∙ oo, ue, and ew oi and oy ur and ir ow and ou 
∙ ue and u_e ‘zh’ or and aw w and wh, f and ph 
∙ ee, ea and ey or , aw and au
 Recognising and read ‘tricky words’ e.g. oh, their, people, said, looked, asked, Mr, Mrs 


PHASE 5b – An introduction to ‘Alternative Pronunciations’ Alternative Pronunciations – different sounds same spellings can make 
∙ hot and cold stick and find cow and blow cat and cent 
∙ goat and giant pie and thief eat and bread hat and what 
∙ chin, school and chef farmer and her yes and by


a-e sound

aw sound

ew sound

ie sound

ou sound

ey sound

ue sound

ay sound

ea sound

ir sound

oy sound

oe sound

wh sound

ph sound

Reading support

Fine motor skills