How We Teach Phonics at RLA

At RLA, we aim to provide children with an integrated programme of learning letters and sounds through speaking and listening, reading and writing. The teaching of phonics is based upon curriculum guidance in Letters and Sounds and the Foundation Stage curriculum.  We incorportate Read Write Inc programmes to provide a cohesive and creative approach to teaching reading and writing and utilise online resources from Bug Club and Phonics Play.

All children work in small groups within their year groups according to the stage of phonics that they are currently working on. This allows all pupils to progress as individuals and build on previous learning.

The phonic group sessions are at 9.10am to 9.30am Monday to Friday for all children.


In the Autumn term, children are taught Phonic 2 as a whole class. At the start of the Spring term, the children work in small groups according to the ability they have shown in whole class sessions.  This continues for the rest of the year, with children moving groups when they are ready to move onto new phonic phases. 

Year One, Two and Three

Children work in specific phonic phase groups according to their phonic knowledge and application. Any child showing the need to work at a higher level than their year group will be accommodated in the next year group.

Any children working at a lower level will work 1:1 with TAs or do phonics with a corresponding group in a different year.

Year 2 Booster and recap sessions happen at various times during the academy day following the Fast Track Phonic programme.

Year Four

The majority of our children are currently working on the Read Write Inc programme, Year 4 objectives. Children who still need Letters and Sounds phonics learning are taken during this time.

Year Five and Six

Children are taught as a whole class using Read Write Inc, linking in with SPAG. Children who need recap of learning from previous years will be taught in smaller groups when appropriate.


Phonics Screening Check

The national Phonics Screening Check was introduced in 2012 and is a quick and easy check of each child's phonics knowledge.  It helps our school to confirm whether a child has made the 'expected' progress.  

The phonics screening check is a list of 40 words (some real words and some non-words) that children read one-to-one with a teacher.  Children may have read some of the words before, whilst others will be completely new.  Non-words are important to use because words such as 'jap' or 'jound' are new to all children and therefore cannot be read by memory. This type of reading activity is not untypical in our school and therefore children do not feel pressured or uncomfortable in any way.  The check normally takes just a few minutes to complete and there is no time limit.  If a child is struggling, the teacher will stop the check.

Children who have not met the standard in year 1 will retake the check in year 2.

Below is a summary of our schools performance in the Phonics Check over the last three years.


2013  10% of children achieved the expected level (compared to the national average of 69%)
2014 36% of children achieved the expected level (compared to the national average of 74%)
2015 67% of children achieved the expected level (compared to the national average of 77%)
2016 72% of children achieved the expected level (compared to the national average of 81%)


Click the link below for the Department for Education Phonic Guide:

How can you help your child? 

  • Let your child see you enjoy reading yourself - they are influenced by you and what you value!
  • Immerse your child in a love of reading: share books and magazines, read to them regularly, point out text around you, eg in the street, on food packaging etc
  • Make time to sit with your child regularly and engage with them in their reading. Look at the teacher's comments and make your own comments in their Reading Record.
  • Encourage your child to 'sound-out' unfamiliar words and blend these sounds together from left to right.
  • Discuss with your child what they have read and ask them to retell the story.
  • Talk about interesting words or phrases and discuss their meanings. Encourage your child to use these in their writing.
  • Visit the local library with your child.
  • Play phonic games with your child. There are fantastic examples online.
  • Play word games such as 'I Spy'.

Remember, we are here to help your child to do their very best!


To further support your child's phonic development and to listen to the correct pronunciation of the phonic sounds click on the links below:

'Mr Thorne Does Phonics'

This is a fantastic website that has a vast range of phonic video's to support you and your child.

Here are a few of our favourites!


                      The alphabet phonemes             Phonemes in order                     How to blend

There are many other Mr Thorne Does Phonics video's on youtube to help with specific phonemes or words.


Phonics Play provides fun games to support children's reading. Some of these are free but to access all the games you will need to subcribe (£12 for the year). Click on the image above to have a go!

Click on the links below for more fun phonics games





Further Information

If you would like to find out more about our Letters and Sounds, Read Write Inc, Support for Spelling and SPAG provision, please contact Mrs Raistrick (Deputy Headteacher, Curriculum).