Phonics at Foreland Fields School


All teachers use the Phonics Scheme ‘Letters and Sounds’ to increase phonic awareness in pupils and students across the school. Letters and Sounds 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 in Reception, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers as quickly as possible.

At Foreland Fields School we want to support our pupils’ development of phonics skills. Many pupils also have additional difficulties with speech sound production.  Teachers and support staff use elements of Cued Articulation to support the learning and development of sounds alongside all phases of the Letters and Sounds programme.

Cued Articulation is a multi-sensory approach to linking letters and sounds.

We teach children to:

With the signs established the system can also be used to prompt the blending of sounds together to read words.

‘Letters and Sounds’ begins with a focus on listening skills and sound‐making in phase one. The teaching of systematic synthetic phonics begins with phase two, where children start to be taught the relationship between written letters (graphemes) and the sounds of spoken English (phonemes). Blending and segmenting skills are taught from the start, and applied into reading fully decidable captions and phrases. The programme includes the teaching of high frequency words. By the end of the programme, children are expected to have developed strong decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling) skills. Children usually secure accurate word reading before they secure comparable accuracy in spelling; therefore the teaching and learning of spelling continues beyond the programme.



Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One

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

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

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

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

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

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.


Many of our pupils will continue to access Phase One of Letters and Sounds across all Key Stages.

Teachers are aware of opportunities to develop communication and literacy through all areas of our curriculum and additional enrichment activities. 



For some pupils it may be appropriate to access additional resources to support whole word learning. The Downs Education “See & Learn” programme and resources are available in school for this purpose.                           

Reading scheme books are available in all departments. These are colour coded using the Book Band system to support pupils to select reading material appropriate to their reading level – Many books are also referenced to the relevant Letters and Sounds Phase and groups of sounds.

Books sorted into boxes in each department are different to ensure that pupils are accessing new and age appropriate reading material as they move through the school. Teachers supplement this reading material with a range of texts from the Curriculum Literacy framework for each Key Stage along with opportunities to access non-fiction texts.

All classes have access to appropriate resources and training opportunities to support the consistent use of Cued Articulation. Copies of the support booklet, posters and card pack are available in each department. Video examples of accurate speech and sign production are available online.

Teaching staff have an established bank of resources to support teaching and learning of phonics. In Key Stages 1 & 2 the Jolly Jingles (from Jolly Phonics scheme) are a popular way to introduce sounds and encourage speech production. These songs are accompanied with Cued Articulation signs rather than Jolly Phonics actions.

IT resources from Education City and Purple Mash also support teaching and learning - often providing a valuable and alternative way to access Literacy for some of our pupils. These resources are also available to access as homework activities.

Additional resources are also available on loan from the Literacy Curriculum Resource Boxes.



Assessment of pupil’s literacy skills is achieved through the use of a range of assessment tools to focus on particular aspects of literacy - in turn this information informs planning for groups and individuals.

Teachers are able to use the assessment tools as appropriate throughout the academic year.

A minimum of twice each year is recommended to show pupil progress and support planning, teaching and learning.

Assessment tools include –

With reading support this can also be used to assess comprehension and vocabulary skills.

The Reading Comprehension and Burt Reading assessment are appropriate for most pupils accessing Phase 2 and above. In completing the assessment a Reading Age is generated. For many of our pupils and students the two reading age scores often vary due to learning styles and specific learning difficulties.


Not all assessments will be appropriate for all pupils.


Ultimately all assessments of Literacy skills are recorded on the Pupil Asset database.

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