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Carnforth Community

Primary School




Phonics is taught daily, in phased groups across EYFS and KS1. We follow a  systematic, synthetic phonics planning programme using the Letters and Sounds approach titled Red Rose Letters and Sounds. Group lessons are differentiated to ensure all children are accessing high quality teaching at the level appropriate for their learning at that time. Children are assessed on their phonic knowledge half termly and groups are restructured accordingly to fully maximise their learning.

Leading the implementation of Red Rose Letters and Sounds

Phonics Policy

What is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:

  • Recognise the sounds that individual letters make

  • Identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make-such as 'sh' or 'oo'

  • Blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word


Children can then use this knowledge to 'decode' new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.


The children are taught to read words by blending, which means pushing all the sounds together to make a word.  The children are taught to spell words by segmenting, which means sounding out words and writing down the sounds they can hear.


By the end of Reception children are expected to be secure in Phase 4. By the end of Year One children are expected to be secure in Phase 5. When finishing Key Stage One, most children should be secure in National Curriculum Year 2 Spelling expectations.

Why phonics?

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way-starting with the easiest sounds and progressing to the most complex-it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7 years old. Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills that they need to tackle new words. Children can go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and read for enjoyment (Department for Education).

Red Rose Trajectories R and Y1

Our first few sounds...

Still image for this video
Watch our Reception children learning the letter formation patter!


The children are taught in groups organised by their Phonic phase.

They are assessed informally throughout the year to ensure they are secure in their phase before moving on.


Phase 1

Supports the importance of speaking and listening and develops children’s discrimination of sounds, including letter sounds.


Phase 2

The children learn to pronounce the sounds themselves in response to letters, before blending them. This leads to them being able to read simple words and captions.

Letters: s, a, t, p, i, n, m, d, g, o, c, k, ck, e, u, r, h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss

Tricky Words: the, to, I, no, go, into


Phase 3

Completes the teaching of the alphabet and moves on to sounds represented by more than one letter. The children will learn letter names and how to read and spell some tricky words.

Letters: j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu, ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er

Tricky Words: he, she, we, me, be, was, my, you, they, her, all, are


Phase 4

The children learn to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants. However, Phase 4 adjacent consonants are including within Phase 2 and 3 words for reading and writing.  

Tricky Words: said, so, have, like, some, come, were, there, little, one, do, when, out, what


Phase 5

The children broaden their knowledge of sounds for use in reading and spelling. They will begin to build word-specific knowledge of the spellings of words.

Sounds: /ee/ ea e e-e y ie ey /oo/ o ue u-e ew ui /ai/ ay a-e eigh ey /igh/ ie y i-e i /oa/ o ow o-e oe /ow/ ou ough /oi/ oy /ar/ a /or/ au aw a our augh ough /oo/ ou u /ur/ or ir er ear /ear/ eer ere /air/ ere ear are /w/ wh /f/ ph /n/ kn gn /r/ wr /s/ soft c /ch/ tch /sh/ ti, ch, s, soft c /m/ mb /j/ dge /zh/ (e.g. treasure)



Here are some links to information and websites that you may find useful to help you support your child in their early reading and writing skills.

All of our pupils will have equal access to phonics lessons and resources available. Throughout the school, phonics is a priority for all of our children. All efforts are made to support children with their learning, focusing on specific gaps in learning. Pupils with Special Educational Needs are identified and work within their individual level. If needed, they will have an individual education plan and work with support under the direction of the class teacher and SENCO. A range of techniques are used to support these children 1:1 or small group sessions.


Throughout EYFS and Key Stage 1, reading books are matched to the children's phonic knowledge, while they are learning to read. We use a variety of reading schemes that are colour coded to support children’s reading development, ensuring that each stage provides an appropriate level of progression and challenge within the text. 


Some of reading schemes used in the Early Years, Key Stage 1 and beyond are: 

  • Big Cats from Collins 
  • Book Bag readers from Scholastic
  • Song Birds from Oxford Reading Tree
  • Phonics from Oxford Reading Tree
  • Traditional Tales from Oxford Reading Tree
  • Project X from Oxford Reading Tree


The children have access to texts in all curriculum areas that are engaging and age-appropriate. When the children become fluent readers, they independently select texts that are of interest to them.

In Key Stage 2, children who require further support have phonics sessions as an intervention delivered by well-trained teaching assistants and are tracked by the class teacher and reading leads. Phonics assessments are regularly undertaken to make sure individual gaps are targeted. As in Key Stage 1, children who need further support will have access to the Fast Track or Bounce Back programmes (LPDS) in small group interventions, that take place to target specific needs and provide children with the skills they need to read independently.

In addition to fostering a love of reading in our pupils, we strive to ensure that by the end of Key Stage 1 our pupils are able to accurately and fluently read age-appropriate books and demonstrate an understanding of what they have read. They can answer questions, make some inferences and explain what has happened so far in what they have read.


At the end of Key Stage 2, we aim to ensure that our pupils leave Carnforth Community with a broad range of reading skills that allow them to demonstrate active reading strategies when reading a variety of texts. Developing strong, fluent and ambitious readers ensures children are ready for the next stage of their reading journey, whether this is at a primary or secondary school level. 


As a school we pride ourselves on reading for our own pleasure, reading with our peers and reading with our families. 

At the end of Year One all the children in the country take an assessment called a Phonics Screening Check.  They have to read 40 words (mixture of real and psuedo words).  We call the psuedo words ‘alien words’ and the children practise reading them every day.