Phonics at ESP

When teaching phonics, Earley St. Peter's use a government produced scheme of work called Letters and Sounds which is supplemented by the Phonics Play and LCP schemes of work.  It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge.

Letters and Sounds is a detailed and systematic program for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age 7.

Letters and Sounds is broken down  into 6 phases which are worked through from nursery to the end of Year 2.  Below is an overview of what is taught across the 6 phases.


Phase 1: Showing an awareness for rhyme and alliteration.  Distinguishing between sounds in the environment and phonemees.  Exploring and experimenting with sounds and words.  Discriminating speech sounds in words.  Beginning to orally blend and segment phonemes.


Phase 2:  Blending for reading and segmenting for spelling simple CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words.

Letter sets:

Set 1 - s, a, t, p,

Set 2 - l, n, m,d,

Set 3 - g, o, c, k,

Set 4 - ck, e, u, r,

Set 5 - h, b, f, ff, l, ll, s.


Phase 3: Knowing one grapheme for each of the 43 phonemes.

Letter sets:

Set 6 - j, v, w, x

Set 7 - y, z, zz, qu.


ear, air, ure, er, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo.

Consonant digraphs:

ch, sh, th, ng.


Phase 4:  This unit is a consolidation of the previous unit.  There are no new graphemes to learn but the children learn how to read longer words such as plug, flag and twig.


Phase 5:


ay, ou, ie, ea, oy, ir, ue, aw, wh, ph, ew, oe, au, a_e, e_e, i_e, o_e, u_e.

Alternative pronunciations for:

i, o, c, g, u, ow, ie, ea, er, a, y, ch, ou.


Phase 6: At this stage, children should be able to spell words phonemically although not always correctly.  This focus of this phase is to enable children to become more fluent readers and accurate spellers.


At ESP, our reading provision is supplemented by Oxford Reading Tree in Key Stage 1 and Badger in Key Stage 2.  As well as Oxford Reading Tree, we have a Structured Free Readers in Year 2 to extend and challenge our more able readers.

To support reading comprehension skills children receive discrete comprehension lessons that follow the Rising Stars: Cracking Comprehension scheme of work.


Useful links to support phonics at home:

Resources from Parents Phonics Worshop (January 2016)