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Primary School


Phonics in KS1

Our vision

  • At Hampton we believe that the teaching of high quality systematic phonic work is the prime approach to decoding print.
  • We enable children to start learning phonic knowledge and skills systematically from when they arrive in Reception with the expectation that they will be fluent readers having secured word recognition skills by the end of Key Stage One.
  • We will teach discrete daily sessions progressing from simple to more complex phonic knowledge and skills covering the major grapheme/phoneme correspondences.
  • We aim to fully prepare the children for the KS1 screening test that takes place in June of each year during Year One.
  • We will use a multi-sensory approach so that children learn variously from simultaneous visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities which are designed to secure essential phonic knowledge and skills.
  • We will teach children to apply their phonic knowledge and skills as their first approach to reading and spelling even if a word is not completely phonically regular.
  • We will ensure that children have the opportunity to read texts and spell words that are within their reach of phonic knowledge and skills even though every single word in the text may not be entirely 4 decodable by the children unaided.
  • We will ensure that children will hear, share and discuss a wide range of high-quality books to develop a love of reading and broaden their vocabulary.
  • We will enable the children’s progress to be assessed.


Foundation Stage Phonics


In FS phonics is taught using the guidance from ‘Letters and sounds’ and we support this using the Twinkl Phonics approach. Twinkl Phonics is a fun and child centered approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for children and teachers, who can see their students achieve. The letter sounds are split into seven groups. The sounds are taught in a specific order (not alphabetically). This enables children to begin building words as early as possible.  

The five skills taught in phonics are:

  • Learning the letter sounds - Children are taught the 42 main letter sounds. This includes alphabet sounds as well as digraphs such as sh, th, ai and ue.    
  •  Learning letter formation - Using different multi-sensory methods, children learn how to form and write the letters.                                                                                                                                                     
  • Blending - Children are taught how to blend the sounds together to read and write new words.                   
  •  Identifying the sounds in words (Segmenting) - Listening for the sounds in words gives children the best start for improving spelling.                                                                                                                               
  • Tricky words - Tricky words have irregular spellings and children learn these separately.


Discrete phonics lessons take place daily across Reception and Key Stage 1. They follow the structure of ‘Review, teach, practise, apply’ to ensure that children are consolidating phonic knowledge and skills over time and they are able to apply them in context. Consequently, wherever possible, links between phonic knowledge and understanding are made to learning in both reading and writing. These lessons proceed at a pace and include daily teaching of high frequency words, they are practical and we use a range of interactive resources. Activities are carefully chosen to ensure that children develop skills in aural discrimination, phonemic and rhyme awareness, blending and segmenting as well as grapheme correspondence.


Year One Phonics


In year one, phonics lessons start off as whole class so children of all abilities are exposed to new sounds, words and skills. For the second part of the phonics lesson, group based activities are then differentiated according to ability and in which phase they are working and the class teacher and LSA support a different group each day.

In June each year, Year One children have to undertake a phonic screening test where Pseudo and real words have to be read with a teacher on a one to one basis. The pass mark for this test over the past 6 years has been to read 32/40 words.  Practise phonics screening assessments are undertaken each term so the children become familiar with the test situation. Class teachers use the information gained during these assessments to inform their future planning and to fill any gaps in the learning.


Phonics screening test results










Hampton Scores









National Scores









LEA Scores (KENT)










Year Two Phonics

Children who do not pass the year one Screening Check are identified at the end of year for additional support and this is continued throughout year two where they have to re take the test. At the beginning of Year 2, class teachers assess all children who didn't pass the phonics check or were very near the borderline. This then generates which sounds they could recall and any segmenting/blending concerns. These children are then grouped up with other children with similar needs and interventions are put in place to support them. These sessions are carried out every day in the afternoon for 30 minutes. During that time the children work on spelling HFW with similar resources for the final 10 minutes.


In KS2 Phonics intervention is provided for those children who have not passed the phonics retake in Year 2 and for children not secure within phase 6 moving into Year 3.




All teachers have a range of resources to use which are appropriate for the level at which the children are working. Resources include:

  • Phase word and letter mats
  • Letter fans
  • Whiteboards and Phoneme Frames
  • Twinkl phonics resources
  • High frequency word flashcards
  • Pseudo words (Alien words) flashcards
  • Practical games across all phonic phases
  • The school has a subscription to ‘Phonics play’ and ‘Busythings’


We expect there to be phase appropriate displays in both Reception and Key Stage One Classrooms to support the teaching and application of phonics in reading and writing.




Assessment is regarded as an integral part of teaching and learning and is a continuous process. It is the class teacher’s responsibility to monitor the progress made by all children in their class, regardless of their phonic group. Phonic assessments are undertaken each term against the appropriate phase.

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Fitzgerald Avenue, Herne Bay,

Kent, CT6 8NB