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Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write by developing their phonemic awareness—the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate different sounds used in the English language. Children learn the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns (graphemes) that represent them. At St Nicholas, Phonics is taught from Early Years and throughout KS1 and KS2 as required and cover the three main concepts:


  • GPC’s (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondences) – They are taught all the phonemes in the English language and ways of writing them down. These are taught in a particular order.
  • Blending – This is when a child can say the sounds that make up a word and merge each sound together so they can hear what the word is. This is a crucial skill in learning to read.
  • Segmenting – This is the opposite of blending where the children are able to say a word and break it up into its individual phonemes. A crucial skill to be able to spell words.

Our phonics teaching follows the structure below:

1. Revise, activate prior knowledge and revisit previous linked learning

2. Teach, introduce new concept, explain, investigate, model

3. Practise, extend / explore independently, investigate, generalise

4. Apply and Assess, explain and demonstrate understanding, assess through independent application


Some words in the English Language can not be taught through phonics as these are exceptions and do not follow patterns. These are called tricky words (High Frequency). These are taught through different spelling activities and repeated exposure to the children.  The process of each phonics phase can be found by accessing the letters and sounds document.

Together we learn,together we grow, with faith, love and God beside us