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At Overseal we are committed to delivering a strong phonics curriculum and strive continuously to seek out and implement best practice. We follow 'Letters and Sounds' which is the phonics curriculum used in the UK, produced by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007.

It teaches children to read and write using phonics, progressing from beginning to hear and make sounds in phase 1, to reading and writing complex texts in phase 6.


Phase One

Phase one teaching concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in phase 2. The emphasis on phase one is get children attuned to the sounds around them. Children are led through experiences in: environmental sounds; instrumental sounds; body percussion; rhythm and rhyme and voice sounds.


Phase Two 

In phase two letters and sounds are introduced. This will usually be in the first autumn term of  EYFS. 

A set of letters is taught each week following a sequence. Children will be encouraged to use their knowledge of the letter sounds to blend and sound out simple words. Phase 2 is mostly initial letter sounds and the sound to match the letters are shown on a video. 

Phase Three

By the time children reach phase three they will already be able to segment and blend words together containing the 19 letters taught in phase two. Phase three begins in EYFS and 25 new graphemes (ways of writing sounds) are introduced! In phase three a group of tricky words is also introduced: these are words which cannot be decoded phonetically such as he, she, we, me and was. 


Phase Four

Phase 4 is completed in the EYFS at Overseal. When children start phase four they will already know 42 phonemes (sounds) and ways of writing them. 

They will be able to blend sounds to read words. Children will also have begun reading straight forward two syllable words and simple captions. In phase 4 no new graphemes (letters that make the sounds) are introduced, the main aim is to consolidate the children's knowledge and to help them learn to read and spell words with adjacent consonants such as trap, string and milk. Children will also learn to read and write another collection of 'tricky words' such as 'said, have, like, some, there and what.'


Phase 5

Phase 5 is taught in Year 1. In phase five children will learn more graphemes and phonemes. Alternative pronunciations for graphemes will be introduced, such ea in tea, head and break. With practice, speed at recognising and blending letters will improve. a further set of tricky words will be introduced such as can't, looked and called.