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Phonics: Unlocking Letters and Sounds

Phonics Scheme

We use Unlocking Letters and Sounds which was validated by the DfE in
December 2021.

We begin teaching phonics in the first few weeks of term 1 in Reception and children
make rapid progress in their reading journey. Children begin to learn the main
sounds heard in the English Language and how they can be represented, as well as
learning ‘Common Exception’ words for Phases 2, 3 and 4. They use these sounds
to read and write simple words, captions and sentences. Children leave Reception
being able to apply the phonemes taught within Phase 2, 3 and 4.

Click here for an example of our Phase 2 GPC, picture, action, and letter formation document.

In Year 1, through Phase 5a, b and c, they learn any alternative spellings and
pronunciations for the graphemes and additional Common Exception Words. By the
end of Year 1 children will have mastered using phonics to decode and blend when
reading and segment when spelling. In Year 1 all children are screened using the
national Phonics Screening Check.

In Year 2, phonics continues to be revisited to ensure mastery of the phonetic code
and any child who does not meet age related expectations will continue to receive
support to close identified gaps.

For further details please click here for the 'Unlocking Letters and Sounds' progression.

To ensure no child is left behind at any point in the progression, children are regularly
assessed and supported to keep up through bespoke 1-1 interventions. These
include GPC recognition and blending and segmenting interventions. The lowest
attaining 20% of pupils are closely monitored to ensure these interventions have an

Whitchurch Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people.

For more information please see the Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy in the policies section of our website.

Please read the policy here