At school we follow Letters and Sounds to teach Phonics. This is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
Below is the government website for Letters and Sounds.
Each section of Phonics is broken up into five phases and different phases are taught in particular year groups:
Reception – Phases 1, 2, 3 and 4
Year 1 – Consolidating Phase 4 and moving on to Phase 5 with some spelling patterns. In the Summer Term of Year 1 children are given a National Phonics Screening Check to test their reading skills.
Year 2 – Consolidating Phase 5 and spelling patterns.
Information about the Phases of Phonics
Phase 1 – Children explore and experiment with sounds, differentiate between sounds and become familiar with rhyme, rhythm and alliteration.
Phase 2 – To introduce grapheme/phoneme (letter/sound) correspondence.
Children know that words are constructed from phonemes and that phonemes are represented by graphemes. They have knowledge of a small selection of common consonants and vowels (which usually begin with s, a, t, p, i, n) and begin to put them together to read and spell CVC words.
Phase 3 – To teach children one grapheme for each of the 44 phonemes in order to read and spell simple regular words.
Children link sounds to letters, naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet. They hear and say the sounds in the order they occur in the word and read simple words by blending the phonemes from left to right. They recognise common digraphs (e.g. th) and read some high frequency words.
Phase 4 – To teach children to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants.
Children will be able to blend and segment adjacent consonants in words and apply this skill when reading and spelling.
Children will move from CVC words (pot, sheep) to CVCC words (pots) and CCVC (spot) and then CCVCC words (spots).
Phase 5 – Teaching children to recognise and use alternative ways of pronouncing the graphemes and spelling the phonemes already taught.
Children will use alternative ways of pronouncing the graphemes (e.g. the ‘c’ in coat and city).
They will recognise an increasing number of high frequency words automatically. Knowledge and skills of phonics will be the prime approach to reading and spelling.