Mrs Jacques is the Phonics Leader at The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School. Phonics is part of our English, Language and Communication Faculty which is led by Miss Bonsor. 


Phonics and Reading at The Blessed Sacrament

We use 'Letters and Sounds' to teach children in Nursery, Reception and Year 1. 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. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

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


Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One (Nursery/Reception)

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 (Reception) up to 6 weeks

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 (Reception) up to 12 weeks

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 (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks

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.



Phonics Overviews


If you wish to support your child at home, you can visit the Letters & Sounds website by clicking here.

For pronunciation help, watch this video: 'Sounds of the English Phonic Code'

Mrs Jacques has produced some videos that will help you to understand how we teach phonics at school and enable you to support your child with their learning in phonics:

Once the children begin to learn Letters and Sounds, they will be taught to blend the sounds into words. Our early reading books are phonically decodable up to phase 5 of their phonics. In Reception and Y1 children will bring 3 different books home each week. They will bring their guided book home following their teaching sessions. They will also bring a practice book home and both these books will only contain phonemes that they have previously been taught in class. Their third book will be their library book which is to share with their families and will be read to them.