At Gainsborough we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme to teach Phonics.

The children enjoy a multi-sensory, exciting approach to Phonics which ensures rapid progression and develops the essential skills of segmenting and blending which are crucial to reading and writing. 

Phonics is taught daily for thirty minutes throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. Children’s progress is closely monitored and the groupings for each phase are flexible. (An outline of what is taught at each phase can be found in the Phonics Overview Document.)

The children are formally assessed on their ability to decode (sound out) real and nonsense words at the end of year one. Please see attached leaflet for more information on the Phonics screening test.

Check out our videos and click on the link to play some phonics games. 

Phonics continues daily for some children in Key Stage Two who require additional support.

Please see attached information to help you support your child with phonics at home. 

If you require any more information about Phonics please feel free to speak to us.  


As a result of school closures due to the recent pandemic, for the academic year 2021/22 we will be prioritsing the teaching of missed content to ensure that our pupils can make sense of work that comes later on in the curriculum, including key knowledge, skills, vocabulary and links between concepts. This forms part of the schools Recovery Curriculum.

  • We are ensuring that pupils catching up with their reading is the priority, since it is vital for their access to the rest of the curriculum.
  • A vital element of this is the successful teaching of phonics and this will continue to be a priority.
  • We have addressed gaps in childrens phonics knowledge and are addressing these gaps through interventions and providing extra.phonics teaching.
  • The direct teaching of phonics continues to take place every day for all children from the start of the Reception year. 
  • Children practise reading books that are decodeable for them.
  • Daily story times are a priority, we help children thrive by choosing books that will engage them emotionally.

 Statement of Intent, Implementation and Impact


At Gainsborough we value phonics as a key life skill and understand its importance for academic success.  We aim to create a love for reading, writing and spelling through the consistent approach of phonics teaching.  We strive to teach children to read effectively and quickly, using the Letters and Sounds programme which includes teaching synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words as well as spelling and accurate letter formation.  We believe that teaching children to read and write independently, as quickly as possible, is essential. These fundamental skills not only underpin the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances.

Using the Letters and Sounds programme we teach children to:

  • Apply the skill of blending phonemes in order to read words.
  • Segment words into their phonemes in order to spell words.
  • Learn that blending and segmenting words are reversible processes.
  • Read high frequency words that do not conform to regular phonic patterns.
  • Read texts and words that are within their phonic capabilities as early as possible.
  • Decode texts effortlessly so all their resources can be used to comprehend what they read.
  • spell effortlessly so that all their resources can be directed towards composing their writing.
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information Read fluently and with good understanding
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently   


Children are introduced to phonics teaching from Nursery, where they are taught phase 1 of Letters and Sounds before moving on to looking at phoneme/grapheme correspondents.

In phase two of the programme, children are introduced to 23 new phonemes. During this phase the children learn to recognise, form and use these sounds in simple consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words to begin to write simple words and captions. Once they have mastered this skill, they start to read stories and texts that have words made up of the sounds they know. This means that they can embed and apply their phonic knowledge and start to build their reading fluency. Once secure, the children move on to the next phase where they will learn new sounds, improve their reading fluency and develop a greater writing ability. Throughout this process there is a focus on comprehension, reading with expression and reading for enjoyment.

Phonics is delivered daily as an explicit lesson in EYFS and KS1. Ongoing assessment for learning means that pupils’ needs are met and therefore groupings across the school are fluid.

To ensure consistency throughout the school ALL staff at Gainsborough follow a clear 5-part systematic phonics lesson structure where pupils revisit prior learning, are taught new graphemes/phonemes, practise together and apply what they have learnt.

Phonics is clearly linked with early reading with children receiving daily morning reads in small groups with an adult in year 1. Across Reception and Key stage one, pupils’ reading books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ability to read ‘tricky words’; so that they experience early reading success as well as consolidating the learning that takes place within the phonics lessons.  


Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for all children to become fluent and competent readers by the end of key stage one.  Formal assessments are made half termly through a bespoke phased tracking document.  Within the EYFS, we aim for the children to be `Year 1 ready’ with the expectation that most children are working within Phase 4 by the end of EYFS.

Attainment in phonics is measured by the National Phonics Screening Test at the end of year one.



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