Reading and Phonics Curriculum

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Supporting your child with reading and phonics


At Fair Furlong Primary School, we use Unlocking Letters and Sounds, which is a DFE validated systematic synthetic phonics program.

Phonics begins in Nursery, where children participate in small groups, adult-directed activities following the ULS, Phase One programme. Enriching this further, are high-quality opportunities to explore early phonological awareness. This will include: sound discrimination, phonological awareness, rhyme, oral blending and segmenting. Adults within nursery promote a love of reading through exposing children to stories, non-fiction text, rhyming books and poetry.

We continue to teach Phase One aspects throughout our daily provision in Reception. We begin teaching Phase Two phonics in Reception in week three of term one, after the children have carried out the statutory Reception Baseline Assessments. Children make rapid progress in their reading journey through quality first teaching of phonics. Children begin to learn the main sounds heard in the English Language and how they can be represented, as well as learning ‘Common Exception Words’ for Phases Two, Three and Four. They use these sounds to read and write simple words, captions and sentences. Children leave Reception having been taught how to apply the phonemes (sounds) taught within Phase Two and Three. Children are then taught how to apply these sounds in words containing adjacent consonants within Phase Four.

Phase 2 ‘Actions, Images and Letter Formation’ document

Phase 3 'Actions Images and Letter Formation' document

In Year One, through Phase 5a, b and c, children are taught any alternative spellings and pronunciations for the graphemes (sounds) and additional Common Exception Words. By the end of Year One children will have been taught using phonics to decode and blend when reading and segment when spelling. In Year One, all children are screened using the National Phonics Screening Check.

In Year Two and KS2, phonics continues to be revisited to ensure mastery of the phonetic code. Any child who does not meet age related expectations within the ULS phonics program will continue to receive support to close identified gaps.

We will follow the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression document. – ‘Overview Progression’ document

To ensure no child is left behind at any point in the progression, children are systematically assessed daily by the adults working with pupils. Any gaps are addressed and pupils are supported to keep up through tailored 1-1 interventions. These include: grapheme (sound) recognition, oral blending, blending and segmenting interventions. All children are closely monitored to ensure these interventions have an impact. Through daily systematic assessments and half-termly formative assessments teachers will identify those that need 1:1 interventions to address their phonic gaps and support them to close any gaps in their phonological knowledge.


At Fair Furlong, we promote a 'phonics first' approach. In both our guided reading sessions at school and in the books, children take home, texts that are matched to a child's current phonics knowledge, so that every child can experience real success in their reading.

Once children progress beyond decodable texts, they move onto texts which continue to develop their decoding fluency and comprehension skills, so that they become avid, expert readers

If you would like to know how we teach phonics, please open this PowerPoint and click on the speaker icon to hear the teachers talk about early reading and phonics.


Link to useful resources

We hope you find the following glossary. Always feel free to come in and talk to us if you require any further support.

Blending - Blending is the skill of joining sounds together to read words.  Children are taught to say the separate sounds in a word and to then blend them together to decode the word.

Digraph -  A digraph is a sound that is represented by two letters e.g. the sound 'a' in rain is represented by the digraph 'ai'.

Grapheme - A grapheme is a visual representation of a sound e.g. a letter or a group of letters.  Some sounds are represented by a single letter whilst others are represented by more than one letter.

Phoneme - A phoneme is a unit of sound e.g. the word 'cat' contains three phonemes; c - a - t 

Segmenting - Segmenting is the opposite of blending. Children are taught to segment a word into its separate sounds in order to spell it.

Below are videos of how to say each sound in each phase

Phase 2




Phase 3

Common Exception Words

Phase 5