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What is included in each Phase of Letters and Sounds

At Emmaus Phonics is immersed in everything we do.  The children complete a daily phonics lesson and we have high expectations that the skills taught in phonics will be applied across the curriculum.  Whenever a child reads or writes we expect them to apply their phonic skills.  We provide every opportunity to support children develop their early reading skills.  From guided reading, shared reading, reading for pleasure, support groups, enhancing the environment and celebrating the effort children make to apply their skills.  The team at Emmaus have a shared vision that ensures Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. 


At Emmaus, from Reception, the children learn to read using a wide range of decodable books.  Children take home decodable books linked to what they have been taught in Letters and Sounds.  We encourage parents to celebrate their child’s achievements and support them in developing their fluency when reading to them. 


The Letters and Sounds programme 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.



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.