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Gorsemoor Primary School

Gorsemoor Primary School

Growing together, hand in hand

Phonics and Early Reading

Welcome to Phonics and Early Reading at Gorsemoor


It is our belief, that the purpose of education is to provide young people with the knowledge and skills to prepare children for their diverse working lives, build character, teach knowledge for its own intrinsic value and ignite a love of learning. Phonics is the very first building block in opening up a whole new word of information and imagination. It first opens our eyes to see the meaning of symbols, co-ordinating letters with sounds, and then helps us to tie these together to form words. The blocks build to make words sentences and sentences paragraphs until we find ourselves fully immersed in the world around us. At Gorsemoor, we believe learning phonics is the crucial starting point that builds children into readers and it is therefore a vital skill to ensure the development of independent, engaged and efficient learners.


Phonics – the key to a whole new world

Gorsemoor Primary School follows the systematic planning laid out in Letters and Sounds (DfE 2007). Learning is divided into phases, which can be summarised as follows:

Phase 1: Listening to and for sounds, rhythm and rhyme and alliteration

Phase 2: Sounds s, a, t, p, i, n, m, d, g, o, c, k, ck, e, u, r, h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss.

Phase 3: Sounds j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu, ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ou, oi, ear, air, ure, er.

Phase 4: Initial and final consonant blends

Phase 5: Graphemes ay, ou, ie, ea, oy, ir, ue, aw, wh, ph, ew, oe, au, a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e and alternative spellings for previous sounds

Phase 6: Prefixes and suffixes and the rules when adding them

Different phases will be a foci for different year groups but revision of the previous phase will always be incorporated into transition planning and activities at the start of each new academic year.  The key phase foci for each year group are:


Phases 1 and 2


Phases 2, 3 and 4

Year 1

Phases 5

Year 2

Phase 6


The Letters and Sounds ‘Review, Teach, Practise, Apply’ method forms the basis for every phonics lesson across the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. Each element of the lesson can be further explained as:

Review – Practising previously learnt graphemes and words

Teach – Introduction of new graphemes and words

Practise – Develop grapheme phoneme correspondences

Apply – Use the new graphemes/words in games and activities to consolidate learning

Click below to download a copy of 'what phonics looks like at Gorsemoor.'