Clowne Infant & Nursery School

‘We take our children on a journey of discovery, giving them aspirations and engaging them in lifelong learning’



         Phonics at Clowne Infant and Nursery School 



Intent: What are we trying to achieve?

  • To provide consistent, high quality phonics teaching, through the delivery of Twinkl Phonics Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP). 
  • To ensure the teaching of synthetic phonics is systematic and progressive throughout Foundation stage and Key Stage One to support phonetic knowledge and understanding.
  •  To ensure that children have secure phonetic knowledge, understanding and skills so that they can decode words confidently and apply this when reading and writing.
  • To enable children to apply their phonic knowledge in their reading and writing across the whole curriculum.
  • To ensure children have specific strategies to identify and decode common exception words (tricky words).
  • To encourage our children to read for enjoyment and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills.
  • To acknowledge that children need to be taught the key skills in segmenting and blending to be equipped with the knowledge to be able to complete the phonics check at the end of year 1.
  • For our children to develop a love of reading and enjoy reading for pleasure confidently across a range of genres.


Implementation: How will we achieve this?

At Clowne Infant and Nursery School, we deliver Phonics through the Twinkl Phonics Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) Programme. We deliver coherently planned sequenced lessons that supports the effective teaching of phonics within EYFS and KS1.

Phonics is taught daily to all children in EYFS and KS1. Within reception, phonics sessions will increase in length over the year. By the end of reception, children spend about an hour a day consolidating previous learning, learning new content and practising and applying what they have learnt. This will consist of a mixture of carpet time and follow-up activities. Phonics will also form part of their continuous provision for children to access following their discrete phonics lesson. In year 1 and 2, phonics lessons will last an hour each day.

The structure of every Twinkl Phonics lesson follows the five-part structure; Revisit and Review, Teach, Practise, Apply and Assess to ensure that the four cornerstones of phonics are covered. During our phonics lessons, children will repeat the elements from the four cornerstones of phonics to ensure that they have rapid and automatic recall of GPCs and tricky/common exception words; each day, they will experience blending and segmenting activities to allow regular practice of these core skills.

Throughout Level 1, young learners develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to discriminate between and use auditory, environmental and instrumental sounds. Level 1 is taught in the EYFS and runs throughout the teaching of phonics Levels 2-6. In reception, children work within Levels 2-4. Here learners are introduced to phonemes/sounds and graphemes/letters systematically. They also learn to develop and apply blending and segmenting skills for reading and writing.

Within KS1, children work within Levels 5 and 6. The coherently planned sequence of lessons within Level 5 allows opportunities for children to apply their phonics knowledge and skills as the prime approach to reading and spelling. It focuses on phonetically decodable two-syllable and three-syllable words and the alternative ways of pronouncing and representing the long vowel phonemes. Furthermore, children will develop their ability to attempt to read and spell increasingly complex words. By Level 6, children explore spelling patterns and grammar while also developing a breadth of knowledge, skills and understanding in the recognition and spelling of common exception words.

Working walls provide visual stimulus for children to refer to during and beyond the daily Phonics learning. The working walls help children to foster independence, provide previous learnt graphemes and ‘tricky words’ and display weekly key learning.  

Phonetically decodable reading books (Rhino Readers) are matched to the children’s phonic level. We use these books as both individual and guided reading books to teach reading alongside phonics. We also give our children phonics-based activities to take home at the appropriate level, these include parent information sheets which are sent home weekly. This helps to consolidate what has been taught in school and encourages a cohesive whole-school approach.

All Year One children will take the ‘Phonics Screening Check’ – a statutory assessment required by legislation. Those who do not meet the pass mark will be given support and intervention programmes in Year Two to provide them with sufficient knowledge and understanding to re-take the screening check and obtain a pass mark.

Teachers use the Twinkl Phonics planning and tweak it as necessary for their class following observations in lessons or using data collected through assessment points. Teachers understand that good phonics teaching should be integral across their teaching of all subjects.

The use of Phonics Tracker in our school allows our staff to track pupil’s progress, to provide opportunities for data analysis and encourages discussions around pupil progress, group progress, future learning and misconceptions, enabling us to respond and adapt teaching within the programme to provide additional support and challenge to our children. Children identified as needing additional support will receive this through a carefully planned intervention timetable.



    Phonics Knowledge and skills progression overview 


    Level 1

    By the end of Level 1, children will:

    -Have experienced a wealth of listening activities including song, stories and rhymes,

    -be able to distinguish between speech sounds and many will be able to segment and blend words orally.

    Activities are arranged under 7 aspects:


    Aspect 1 - General sound discrimination – Environmental Sounds

    Aspect 2 - General sound discrimination – Instrumental Sounds

    Aspect 3 - General sound discrimination – Body Percussion

    Aspect 4 - Rhythm and Rhyme

    Aspect 5 - Alliteration

    Aspect 6 - Voice Sounds

    Aspect 7 – Oral Blending and Segmenting


    Within each aspect there are three main aspects: tuning into sounds to discriminate what is heard; listening to and remembering sounds developing auditory memory and sequencing; and talking about sounds to develop vocabulary and language comprehension.


    The boundaries between each strand are flexible and teachers plan to integrate the activities according to the developing abilities and interests of the children in the setting.

    Level 2

    By the end of Level 2, children should be able to:

    • give the phoneme when shown any Level 2 grapheme;

    • find any Level 2 grapheme, from a display, when given the phoneme;

    • orally blend and segment CVC words;

    • blend and segment in order to read and spell (using magnetic letters) VC words, such as if, am, on, up and nonsense words, such as ip, ug and ock;

    • read the five tricky words - the, to, I, no, go.


    Sounds in level two are taught in a set order of phonics progression:

    Set 1  –  s  a  t  p

    Set 2  –  i  n  m  d

    Set 3  -  g  o  c  k

    Set 4  -  ck  e  u  r

    Set 5  -  h   b   f, l,

    Set 6 - ff, ll, ss, s saying 'z'.

    Level 3

    By the end of Level 3, children should be able to:

    • give the phoneme when shown all or most Level 2 and Level 3 graphemes;

    • find all or most Level 2 and Level 3 graphemes, from a display, when given the phoneme;

    • blend and read CVC words (single-syllable words consisting of Level 2 and Level 3 graphemes);

    • segment and make a phonetically plausible attempt at spelling CVC words (single- syllable words consisting of Level 2 and Level 3 graphemes);

    • read and spell some two-syllable words using Level 2 and Level 3 graphemes;

    • read the tricky words - he, she, we, me, be, was, my, you, here, they, all, are;

    • spell the tricky words - the, to, I, no, go;

    • write each letter correctly when following a model.


    The phonemes (sounds) taught in level three are:


    Set 7 –  j  v  w  x

    Set 8 -  y  z, zz, qu, ch

    Set 9 - sh, th, th, ng

    Set 10- ai, ee, igh, oa

    Set 11- oo (long and short), ar, or

    Set 12- ur, ow, oi, ear

    Set 13- air, ure, er

    Level 4

    By the end of Level 4, children should be able to:

    • give the phoneme when shown any Level 2 and Level 3 grapheme;

    • find any Level 2 and Level 3 grapheme, from a display, when given the phoneme;

    • be able to blend and read words containing adjacent consonants;

    • be able to segment and spell words containing adjacent consonants;

    • be able to read and spell polysyllabic words containing adjacent consonants and words containing three-letter adjacent consonants;

    • be able to read the tricky words - said, so, have, like, come, some, were, there, little, one, do, when, out, what;

    • be able to spell the tricky words - he, be, we, she, me, was, you, they, are, all, my, here;

    • write each letter, usually correctly.


    The progression in level four is  cvcc words, ccvc words, adjacent consonants, polysyllabic words, and three-letter adjacent consonants. 

    An example of the kind of consonant blend and words contained in level four showing progression is: 


    st  -  must    stop    start     stamp    handstand     starlight    stronger 

    Level 5

    By the end of Level 5, children should be able to:

    • give the phoneme when shown any grapheme that has been taught;

    • for any given phoneme, write the common graphemes;

    • apply phonics knowledge and skills as the prime approach to reading and spelling unfamiliar words that are not completely decodable;

    • read and spell phonically decodable two-syllable and three-syllable words;

    • read and spell all taught common exception words;

    • form each letter correctly;

    • use alternative ways of pronouncing and representing the long vowel phonemes.


    The phonemes (sounds) taught in level five are:

    ‘ay’ saying /ai/               ‘oy’ saying /oi/              ‘ie’ saying /igh/            ‘ea’ saying /ee/

    ‘a_e’ saying /ai/            ‘i_e’ aying /igh/             ‘o_e’ aying /oa/            ‘u_e’ saying /yoo/ and /oo/

    ‘e_e’ saying /ee/            ‘ou’ saying /ow/ Long Vowel Sounds                  ‘ch’ saying /c/

    ‘ch’ saying /sh/              ‘ir’ saying /ur/        ‘ue’ saying /yoo/ and /oo/         ‘ew’ saying /yoo/ and /oo/

    ‘y’ saying /ee/           ‘aw’ and ‘au’ saying /or/       ‘ow’ and ‘oe’ saying /oa/       ‘wh’ saying /w/

    ‘c’ saying /s/                 ‘g’ saying /j/                  ‘ph’ saying /f/                ‘ea’ saying /e/

    ‘ie’ saying /ee/        Adding -ed Adding -s and -es           Adding -er and -est ‘tch’ saying /ch/

    Adding - ing and -er to Verbs         ‘are’ and ‘ear’ saying /air/         Unspoken ‘e’          ‘ore’ saying /or/           Adding un

    Level 6

    During level six children become fluent readers and their spellings become more accurate. Children begin to read longer and less familiar texts with independence and they will be reading to gain information and for pleasure.

    By the end of Level 6, children should be able to:

    • read accurately most words of two or more syllables;

    • read most words containing common suffixes;

    • read most common exception words;

    • read most words accurately, in age-appropriate books, without overt sounding and blending, fluent enough to allow them to focus on their understanding rather than on decoding individual words;

    • sound out most unfamiliar words accurately, without undue hesitation;

    • segment spoken words into phonemes and represent these by graphemes, spelling many of these words correctly and making phonically-plausible attempts at others;

    • spell most common exception words correctly.


    The spelling patterns taught in level six are:

    ‘y’ saying /igh/      ‘dge’ and ’ge’ saying /j/       Adding -es to Words Ending in ‘y’ ‘gn’ saying /n/       ‘kn’ saying /n/

    Adding -ed and -ing to Words Ending in ‘y’       ‘wr’ saying /r/       ‘le’ saying /l/     

    Adding -er and -est to Words Ending in ‘y’      ‘el’ saying /l/     ‘al’ and ‘il’ saying /l/

    Adding -ed and -er to Words Ending in ‘e’       ‘eer’ saying /ear/      ture        Adding -est and -y to Words Ending in ‘e’ ‘mb’ saying /m/      ‘a’ and ‘al’ saying /or/        Adding -ing , -ed to CVC/ CCVC words      ‘o’ saying /u/     

    ‘ey’ saying /ee/      Adding -er, -est, -y to CVC and CVCC Words        Contractions     

    ‘war’ saying /wor/ and ‘wor’ saying /wur/       Suffixes -ment and -ness       ‘s’ saying /zh/       

    ‘wa’ saying /wo/ and ‘qua’ saying /quo/       tion       Suffixes -ful, -less and -ly

    Homophones/ Near Homophones               Prefix dis

    Impact: What difference will this make?

    • Children will make progress through the different Level of phonics in line with Year Group expectations and make progress from their own individual starting points.
    • Children will become confident and resilient in tackling unfamiliar words by applying learnt knowledge and skills to segment, blend and read words which are real and nonsense.
    • Children will demonstrate high levels of engagement in phonics and will apply their phonetical knowledge when reading and writing and use the working walls to assist them when needed but become increasingly independent in this process.
    • Children will have an increased recognition of tricky words and high frequency words when reading and apply these when writing.
    • Children with SEND will develop phonic skills and knowledge and they will develop their ability to apply this across the curriculum which will help to prepare them for the next stage in their education.
    • Children in Y1 will sit the Phonics Screening Check in the summer term. Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Y1, will re-sit this in Y2.

    Phonics screening check 

    The Phonics Screening Check is a statutory part of the curriculum for children within year 1. During the summer term, all children in year 1 are tested in their ability to apply phonics knowledge to read a range of real and nonsense words. This is to check that they are able to apply the key phonics skills to all words, both known and unknown. Children in year 2 may also have a phonics check if they did not achieve the required standard in year 1 or if they have not previously taken the test.  Headteachers decide if it is appropriate for each pupil to take the phonics screening check. 

    The phonics screening check consists of 40 words for the child to read, which are completely decodable using phonic skills, and contains 20 real words and 20 pseudo (non-words).  Children are made aware when they are reading a non-word or "alien" word by the presence of an alien picture next to these words. 


    You can read all about the year 1 phonic assessment in the Department for Education parents information phonics check leaflet below.  

    Below are some documents that you may find useful in supporting your child's phonic development at home.


    The single most important thing you can do to support your child effectively with phonics is to pronounce pure sounds as your children are taught to in school. The video below shows how each phoneme should be articulated.

    How to voice letters of the alphabet using pure sounds- YouTube


    Twinkl phonics introduction for parents - this document will define key terminology that we use in school and your children will use.  It explains how synthetic phonics works and outlines the expectations for what children should be able to do by the end of each level. Additionally there is information about the Year 1 phonics screening check and suggestions for how to help your child at home. This is a really useful resource.

    Level 1 phonics guide for parents - this document is particularly useful for parents of Nursery children.

    Level 2 and 3 actions mat

    In Reception, the children are also taught a rhyme to help with writing the grapheme.  These can be found by clicking on the link below.

    Level 5 actions mat

    In Year 1, the children are also taught a rhyme to help with writing the grapheme.  These can be found by clicking on the link below.

    Interactive Phonics games at home-




    We use a website in school which has some fun phonic games your child can play from home too. These are games in which children read the words using their phonic skills and then decide if the words are real words or fake words so this helps them practice skills needed for the phonics screening check too. The children love playing 'Dragon's Den', 'Picnic on Pluto' or 'Buried Treasure' to see how many they score and you can choose the specific phonic phase from phase 2 to 5 and the specific phonemes your child has already worked on in school for extra practice. Click on the weblink pictures above to have a go at home on the phonics play games.  


    Below lots of websites with phonic games, see some phonic games websites listed below: 







    More information


    For more information about phonics have a look at the following document for parents about learning to read through phonics: