Reading and Phonics Curriculum

Supporting your child with reading and phonics

At Fair Furlong we use Unlocking Letters and Sounds which was validated by the DfE in December 2021.

We begin teaching phonics in the first few weeks of term 1 in Reception and children make rapid progress in their reading journey. 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 2, 3 and 4. They use these sounds to read and write simple words, captions and sentences. Children leave Reception being able to apply the phonemes (sounds) taught within Phase 2 and 3. They then apply these sounds in slightly trickier words containing adjacent consonants within Phase 4.

Phase 2 ‘Actions, Images and Letter Formation’ document

Phase 3 'Actions Images and Letter Formation' document

In Year 1 through Phase 5a, b and c, they learn any alternative spellings and pronunciations for the graphemes (sounds) and additional Common Exception Words. By the end of Year 1 children will have mastered using phonics to decode and blend when reading and segment when spelling. In Year 1 all children are screened using the national Phonics Screening Check.

In Year 2, phonics continues to be revisited to ensure mastery of the phonetic code and any child who does not meet age related expectations will continue to receive support to close identified gaps.

In 2022- 2023 we will work towards following 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 regularly assessed and supported to keep up through tailored 1-1 interventions. These include grapheme (sound) recognition and blending and segmenting interventions. The lowest attaining 20% of pupils are closely monitored to ensure these interventions have an impact. 


At Fair Furlong we promote a 'phonics first' approach and in both our guided reading sessions at school and in the books children take home, texts are very closely 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

Phase 5.