This page has been created to help you understand how we teach the children to read and write at Wimborne Infant School.

Phonics – How we teach children to read. They learn by sounding out each letter in a word, then blending those sounds together to form a word

Letters & Sounds – The scheme we follow to teach Phonics.

Jolly Phonics – The other scheme we follow to teach Phonics. We use their songs and actions, all of which can be found on YouTube

Phases – Phonics is split into 6 Phases. See below for an overview of each Phase

Sounding Out – When reading, saying the sound a letter, or group or letters, makes, e.g. ‘c-a-t’

Blending – When reading, pushing the sounds together to say a complete word, e.g. ‘cat’

Segmenting – When writing, splitting a word into its sounds so it can be written, e.g. ‘cat… c-a-t’

Tricky Words – Words where the letters do not make their normal sounds, and so cannot be read purely by sounding out, e.g. was, one, are

High Frequency Words – The most common words that children will encounter when reading at a young age. Some of these are tricky words, some can be sounded out. The more your child knows, the easier it will be for them to read

Letter Name – Say the alphabet. Those are the letter names.

Letter Sound – Say the sounds that make up ‘cat’. Those are the letter sounds. It’s the letter sounds that your child will say when sounding out a word. These need to be ‘pure’ sounds, and not have ‘ugh’ after them. See the links section for a video on this

Phoneme – The sound a given letter, digraph or trigraph makes. There are 44 phonemes in the English language

Grapheme – The written representation of a phoneme. One phoneme can have multiple different graphemes, e.g. the /ai/ phoneme is written differently in plate, wait, weight, tray, rein

Digraph – Two letters that make one sound, e.g. ring, ship, this

Letters & Sounds – The scheme we follow to teach Phonics

Trigraph – Three letters that make one sound, e.g. light, chair

Early Learning Goal – The national standard showing the level of learning and development expected at the end of the Reception year. There are 17 Early Learning Goals. The Reading and Writing ELGs are partly taught in Phonics







Phase One (Nursery/Reception)

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.


Phase Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

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, ff, l, ll, ss

Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Set 6: j, v, w, x

Set 7: y, z, zz, qu

Consonant digraphs: ch, sh, th, ng

Vowel digraphs: ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er

Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.


Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)

Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

New graphemes: ay, ou, ie, ea, oy, ir, ue, aw, wh, ph, ew, oe, au, a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e

Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.





  • Your child will be heard reading each week
  • Every week they will be heard by their class Teaching Assistant on a 1:1 basis at least once. Their books will be changed and they will practise their High Frequency Words as well
  • The Class Teacher will hear each child once a week in a Guided Reading session
  • The Class Teacher will also read with each child at least once each half term on a 1:1 basis
  • To promote reading at home, we have a Reading Champions Challenge. What we ask is that you read with your child at least 3 times a week. Each time you read please write the date and name of the book. Each Monday we will look at your child’s Reading Record, and if they have read 3 or more times at home that week, they will go into a draw to win a book in Celebration Assembly on Friday
  • As well as this, each week your child reads 3 or more times, they earn a star for their class. For every 100 stars the class achieve they receive a special treat, such as turning the hall into a cinema, or a trip to Milton Park



  • Read little and often. Reading for 5 minutes each day is better than reading for an hour over the weekend
  • If your child is struggling, you can help them. If it’s a word they can’t sound out, you sound it out for them. If it’s a tricky word they can’t read, tell them that it is a tricky word and tell them what it is
  • Read the book to them first. This way when they come to read it, they will have a good idea of the story already
  • Don’t force it. If it’s not happening that day, leave them reading a book to you, and read a story to them instead
  • You don’t need to write lots in your child’s Reading Record. Just writing ‘Read her book with Dad’ is still useful for us


  • Alphablocks. A great TV show to help with Phonics. It can be found on CBeebies and YouTube.
  • KidsTV123 have lots of good songs. Also on YouTube
  • Jolly Phonics songs can all be found on YouTube
  • PhonicsPlay have some free games
  • have some resources and information you might find useful