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At Foxdell Infant School, early reading is taught using synthetic phonics as the main approach to reading. Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds for reading and how to segment the sounds in order to write words. Children are also taught to read common words which do not completely follow the phonic rules.

The link below shows how each phoneme (sound) is articulated: 


At Foxdell Infant School we follow the government published programme 'Letters and Sounds' to teach phonics. Phonics is taught from Reception and is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of the previous phase. 


Phase 1 (Reception)

This phase develops children's speaking and listening to prepare for learning to read with phonics. Parents/carers can play a vital role in helping their children to develop these skills, by encouraging their children to listen carefully and talk extensively about what they hear, see and do. 


Phases 2 to 4 (Reception/Year 1)

Children learn: 

  • How to represent each of the forty-two sounds by a letter or sequence of letters
  • How to blend sounds together for reading and how to segment words for spelling
  • The letter names
  • How to read and spell some common ‘tricky’ words (e.g.  ‘my’, ‘her’, ‘you’)



Phase 5 (Year 1)

Children learn new ways of representing the sounds and practise blending for reading and segmenting for spelling. 


Phase 6 (Year 2)

Children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers. Your child will focus on spelling patterns, particularly suffixes. A suffix is a few letters put at the end of a word to change its meaning. 




Statutory Phonics Screening Check

At the end of year 1, your child will undergo a statutory phonics screening check. This is a statutory assessment which began in 2012.

All children in year 1 must take the check and any year 2 children who did not meet the expected standard in the previous year will take the check again. The phonics screening check is designed to confirm whether or not individual children have learned phonics decoding to the appropriate standard. 

Please click on the document below to see an example of the phonics screening check.