At St. Teresa’s RC Primary School, we are passionate about ensuring all children have the opportunities to become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier.

At St. Teresa’s, children are taught phonics using a systematic daily phonics programme. It maps out the order in which the individual speech sounds and the letter/s that represent them will be introduced and learned. These phonics lessons are structured so that they revisit what children have already learned as well as introducing new learning. This allows our phonics teaching and learning to be progressive from Nursery up to Year 2, as well as allowing children’s listening and speaking skills to develop.

This organised approach continues over time with children reading more and more words as new letters and their sounds are introduced. With practice, the skills of word recognition and blending become speedy and automatic and only used when needed. For example, even as expert readers we do call on our phonics skills and knowledge when we come across an unfamiliar word.



In EYFS and KS1, Phonics is taught through whole class teaching input and small group activities, using the ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ scheme together with Foundations in Phonics, used in Nursery. Phonics lessons are taught in a multi-sensory way to embed learning and to adapt to children’s different learning styles. We understand that children need both knowledge and skills to make progress in phonics.

Through phonics children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read words.

There are around 44 different speech sounds in English. Phonics for reading is made up of two elements:

  • The knowledge– knowing how the speech sounds (known as phonemes) in words we say are represented in written form by a letter or letters. For example, the word jam has 3 separate speech sounds /j/ /a/ /m/; the word boat has 3 separate speech sounds /b/ /oa/ /t/. A written letter or combination of letters is known as a grapheme.
  • The skills– being able to recognise the separate speech sounds represented by the graphemes and say them and blend them together in order, to pronounce a whole word.

 We are currently transitioning from using Letters and Sounds as – although it remains broadly relevant – was not updated in line with the National Curriculum in 2014.

Our new scheme is a Systematic Sythentic phonics programme, which is what the DfE recommends should be used.

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised meets the 16 criteria essential core criteria as outlined by the DfE. The Scheme was placed on the DfE validated list of schemes in July 2021.

 We use phonic books as part of our reading scheme, together with Collins phonics e-books to ensure that our pupils are reading books that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words.


Attainment in phonics is measured by the National Phonics Screening Check at the end of year 1. Results are reported to parents in their child’s annual report. Children that do not pass in year 1 will re-take the screening check in year 2.

Assessment is done throughout the year by the phonics co-ordinator and class teachers using phonics tracking sheets and past phonics screeners. The phonics co-ordinator uses the assessments to inform groupings, planning and interventions.

For children that need further support with phonics in year 2 and 3, we run the intervention ‘Fast Track Phonics’. This is a 14 week support programme designed to address the gaps in learning and is run alongside the daily phonics sessions. The phonics co-ordinator runs this intervention, as well as teaching phonics lessons in EYFS and KS1. This gives her a good overview on the phonics progression throughout the key stages. An experienced phonics teacher also comes in once a week to support children who need extra support with phonics in year 1 and 2.

For children who need a more intensive one to one programme of support and who have been identified as having special educational needs in this area, we use the ‘Dyslexikit’ intervention together with Multi-sensory learning techniques.

 See below for links to our phonics progression and the 16 core criteria our phonic scheme meets.


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St Teresa's RC Primary School

Address: 5 McDonald Road, Irlam, Manchester, M44 5LH
Headteacher: Mrs Sandra Burgess
Tel: 0161 777 8203  /  0161 921 2053

St Teresa's RC Primary School

5 McDonald Road, Irlam, Manchester, M44 5LH

Mrs Sandra Burgess

0161 777 8203