Across Owler Brook Primary School, we follow the Letters and Sounds programme for the teaching and learning of phonics. Children receive daily phonics sessions in Early Years and KS1. Those children who require phonics in KS2 also receive Phonics sessions, at least 5 times a week, usually taken by the classroom teaching assistant, but monitored by the class teacher and year group leader. During phonics, children learn how to ‘blend to read, segment to write’ - a vital strategy in learning to read. In KS2 where children have progressed beyond phonics, children will be taught spelling strategies at an age appropriate level. Our spelling scheme is called no nonsense spelling and this enables children to spell correctly, but also understand the root form of the word and support them with inferring the meaning of new vocabulary. In KS2 children are grouped according to their phonic/spelling stage to ensure the most accurate and purposeful teaching for the child.

Letters and Sounds splits learning into 6 phonic phases:

Phase 1 develops children’s ability to hear and distinguish sounds around them. It focuses on oral blending and segmenting and rhyming.
Phase 2 introduces letter sounds for reading and writing with a set of letters being taught weekly. It begins to look at blending for reading and segmenting for writing. A selection of ‘tricky words’ are taught during Phase 2.
Phase 3 introduces the rest of the individual letter sounds and diagraphs. Children will continue blending and segmenting and further tricky words are taught. Children will also learn the letters of the alphabet during this phase.
Phase 4 helps build on the previous understanding of blending and segmenting and children gain experience of using words that have adjacent consonants such as trap, milk. No new sounds are taught.
Phase 5 introduces alternative graphemes for phonemes e.g. children will know /ai/ as in rain from phase 3 but they will learn that /ay/ as in day and /a_e/ as in make also make the /ai/ sound. They will also learn alternative pronunciations for graphemes e.g. ea – tea, head, break.
Phase 6 allows children to become fluent readers and accurate spellers. The no nonsense spelling scheme follows on from this smoothly.


At Owler Brook Primary School in Year 1 the children are tested used the national phonics screening test. Those children who do not meet the required standard retake this test in Year 2. In Key Stage 2, everyday Literacy teaching includes elements of spelling, punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) for all children. A bespoke programme appropriate to the needs of the learners is delivered and class teachers then ensure the application of this learning in all areas of the curriculum.