Phonics Structure at HPA


At Horbury Primary Academy, we believe that the key to our pupils’ success is their ability to read. It is vitally important that children learn to read fluently as quickly as possible. We therefore ensure that systematic, synthetic phonics is taught on a daily basis in Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. The systematic nature of our phonics programme – Letters and Sounds – ensures that children are taught sounds and words at a pace which enables them to meet or exceed age related expectations. It is our intention that all children learn to read early, regardless of their background. Through regular assessment of pupils’ phonic progress, we identify any pupil who falls behind and they are given extra help to catch up. Our reading books contain sounds that children have been taught in phonics sessions and are well matched to their reading stage. It must always be remembered that phonics is the step up to word recognition. Automatic reading of all words – decodable and tricky – is the ultimate goal.

The Letters and Sounds programme is made up of six phases.

Phase 1 – (nursery and beyond)

Phase 1 helps develop children’s speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in phase 2. During phase 1 children become attuned to the sounds around them such as environmental, instrumental, body percussion, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, and voice sounds and  are ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.

Phase 2 (nursery/first term of reception)

Children entering phase 2 will have experienced a wealth of listening activities, including songs, stories and rhymes. They will be able to distinguish between speech sounds and many will be able to blend and segment words orally. Some will also be able to recognise spoken words that rhyme and will be able to say a string of rhyming words. The purpose of phase 2 is to teach at least 19 letters and sounds and move children on from oral blending and segmenting to blending and segmenting with letters. By the end of the phase children will be able to read some VC and CVC words and to spell them using magnetic letters or by writing. During the phase they will be introduced to reading two-syllable words and simple captions. They will also learn to read the tricky words: the, to, go, no, I, and


Phase 3 (reception)

Children entering phase 3 will already know around 19 letters and their sounds and will be able to blend these to read and spell VC words. They will also be able to read and spell CVC words. They should also be able to blend and segment CVC words orally. Over the course of phase 3 we teach another 25 graphemes/phoneme correspondences (letters groups and sounds), most of them comprising of 2 letters e.g. oa, ai, ar. Children will continue to practise CVC blending and segmenting and will apply this to reading and spelling two-syllable words and writing captions, sentences and questions. Children will learn letter names during this phase, learn to read a further 12 tricky words: he, she, we, me, be, was, you, they, all, are, my, her and also be able to spell some of these words.


Phase 4 (reception)

Children entering Phase Four will be able to represent each of 42 phonemes (sounds) by a grapheme (letter), and be able to blend phonemes to read CVC words and segment CVC words for spelling. They will have some experience in reading simple two-syllable words and captions. The main aim of this phase is to consolidate the children’s knowledge and to help them learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and milk and polysyllabic words. They will know letter names and be able to read and spell some tricky words. During phase 4, the following tricky words are taught: said, have, like, so, do, some, come, were, there, little, one, when, out, what


Phase 5 (year 1)

The purpose of this phase is for children to broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant. Some of the alternatives will already have been encountered in the high-frequency words that have been taught. Children become quicker at recognising graphemes of more than one letter in words and at blending the phonemes they represent. When spelling words they will learn to choose the appropriate graphemes to represent phonemes and begin to build word-specific knowledge of the spellings of words. During this phase children are taught to read and spell the following tricky words: oh, their, people, Mr, Mrs, looked, called, asked, could, would, should


Phase 6 (year 2)

By the beginning of phase 6, children should know most of the common grapheme– phoneme correspondences (GPCs). They should be able to read hundreds of words, doing this in three ways:

■ reading the words automatically if they are very familiar;

■ decoding them quickly and silently because their sounding and blending routine is now well established;

■ decoding them aloud.

Children’s spelling should be phonemically accurate, although it may still be a little unconventional at times. Spelling usually lags behind reading, as it is harder.

Supporting parents

In the Autumn term, our Early Years team hold a phonics meeting for parents. During the phonics meeting they look at:

  • The basic skills covered in our phonics teaching
  • The phonic phases children go through to learn to read and write well and confidently
  • Handwriting in Foundation Stage
  • How providing additional support at home can help children achieve the best results
  • Sharing videos of how phonics is taught in our Foundation Stage
  • Opportunity to look at phonics resources and activities and speak with members of EYFS staff.


During the Spring term, the Year 1 team host a meeting for parents to provide information about the Phonic Screening Check which is carried out in the Summer term.

Useful websites and information booklets to support you with phonics at home.

Oxford Owl

ICT Games

Phonics Play

Letters and Sounds

Aspect 1 Environmental

Aspect 2 Instrumental

Aspect 3 Body Percussion

Aspect 4 Rhythm and Rhyme

Aspect 5 Alliteration

Aspect 6 Voice Sounds

Aspect 7 Oral Blending

Phase 2: Reception Autumn Term

Phase 3: Reception Spring and Summer Term

Phase 4: Reception Summer Term

Phase 5: Year 1

Phase 6: Year 2

KS2 Phonics and Reading support:

In KS2, support is put in place in the form of afternoon/morning interventions for those children that do not achieve the phonics pass mark by the end of Year 2.  These interventions provide structured activities to support children in their phonics and reading journey.

These programmes include:

Bounce Back Phonics – Catch up phonics lessons for Years 2, 3 and 4 based on the Letters and Sounds Programme

IDL – this program consists of approximately 1000 graduated exercises, commencing with recognition of the alphabet and finishing with comprehension

Read Theory – a computer based reading comprehension activity which meets learners own individual ability levels

Rainbow words – the colours relate to the phase a child is working upon (reading/spelling). Some words can be sounded out (listening words – we can segment them and blend them back together to hear what the word says). Some words are looking words – they cannot be sounded out they just have to be learnt by sight

SaLT – Speech and Language Therapy appropriate to child’s needs

Reading Buddies – Members of staff read with Year 6 children to develop fluency and comprehension skills

small trust logo
small trust logo

The Accord Multi Academy Trust is an educational charity established in September 2016 that is currently made up of four academies who were the founding members of the Trust. In September 2016 Horbury Academy and Ossett Academy & Sixth Form College came together, moving away from their stand-alone Trust status and were joined in December 2016 by Horbury Primary Academy and Middlestown Primary Academy.

The overarching vision for the Trust is to work in one ‘Accord – celebrating the differences of each academy through strong collaboration in order to inspire all members of our learning community to be the best that they can be.

Trust Website

Our Academies