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Overview of Phonics

Overview of Each Phase 

Firm Foundations in Phase 1 

The purpose of this phase is to prepare the children with the skills needed for The Basics and The Higher Level of Phonics. This is an essential part of the children’s development as they learn to tune into sounds and begin to develop their auditory memory and vocabulary comprehension. This phase does not end as phonological awareness will be taught throughout each stage of phonics.  


This phase is split into seven 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

The Basics in Phase 2 


The purpose of this phase is to teach children at least one spelling for 18 of the 44 sounds of the English language, and move children on from oral blending and segmentation to blending and segmenting with letters. By the end of the phase many children should be able to hear up to 3 sounds in words, read and write some VC and CVC words. During the phase, they will be introduced to reading two-syllable words and simple captions.

The Basics in Phase 3 


The purpose of this phase is to teach the children the further 26 of the 44 sounds of the English language, most of them comprising two letters (e.g. oa), so the children can represent each of about 42 phonemes by a grapheme. Using the auditory and memory skills taught in the 'Phonics 1' and developed in 'The Basics 2',  continue to practise CVC blending and segmentation in this phase and will apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions. 


The Basics in Phase 4 


 The purpose of this phase is to consolidate children’s knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic wordsNo new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase.

The Higher Levels of Phonics 5 


The purpose of this phase is for children to broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. The Higher Levels of Phonics teaches children the concept that there are more than one spelling for a sound that they can hear in a word. At the end of this phase, the children will have learnt new graphemes and alternative pronunciations and should be able to choose spellings of the 44 sounds in the English language and read decodable texts.