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What is Phonics?

Phonics is an essential strategy that children are taught as part of the process of learning to read.


Children are taught to:

  • Say the sounds that individual letters make.
  • Say the sounds that different combinations of letters make e.g. ‘sh’ and ‘th’ (digraph), ‘igh’ and ‘air’ (trigraph).
  • Blend these sounds together, from left to right, to read a word.


Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ unfamiliar words as they read.


From Nursery to Year 2, children receive daily phonics lessons in line with the ‘Letters and Sounds’ guidance from the Department for Education.

There are 6 phases that increase in difficulty. Content includes learning individual letter sounds, spelling words with adjacent consonants and learning ‘tricky words’ that can not be decoded phonetically.

There are a wealth of interactive games and activities available online. We have found the following sites particularly useful: