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Teaching Phonics at New Waltham Academy


At New Waltham Academy, we use a structured phonics programme, Letters and Sounds in order to deliver a comprehensive phonics curriculum. Resources from Jolly Phonics are used to supplement Letters and Sounds.



The Letters and sounds programme is taught from the first week of children starting Nursery. Phase 1 is focussed upon early in order to ensure children are able to distinguish and play with sounds. They quickly progress onto phase 2 when ready, and develop skills of segmenting and blending in order to read cvc words.


Early Years

Practitioners build upon the previous phonics knowledge gained in Nursery and are able to consolidate the previous learning of phase 2 as well as build upon it ready to start phase 3 towards the end of Autumn Term. Children in Early Years access Phonic Phase Books in Guided reading and take home a Library book to share with their family at home.


Year 1& 2

Children continue to follow the Letters and Sounds programme throughout Year 1 & 2 and build upon phonics knowledge acquired by children since Nursery. Children are also prepared for the phonic screening test in the Summer term of Year 1. Children who do not pass the phonics screening continue to cover aspects of phases 2,3,4 & 5 as well as move onto further phases with the aim of passing by the end of Year 2. All children in year 1 and those in years 2 and 3 who have not passed the phonics screening check or are working below End of phase 5 take home a ‘Phonic Phase Reading Book’ weekly. These books are also used in Phonic based guided reading which takes place once a week.

All children will also take a home a ‘Library Book’ for reading for pleasure at home.



Key Stage 2


In Year 3, all children continue to work through Letters and Sounds with discrete phonic lessons being taught to differentiated groups allowing diagnostic teaching to take place to meet all children’s phonic abilities.  Children who have not passed the phonics screening by Year 3 check or are working below End of phase 5 take home a ‘Phonic Phase Reading Book’ weekly. Once all children have confidently secured knowledge in Phase 6 they then continue on spelling and grammar focus.



Throughout school, from Nursery, we use diagnostic teaching to support those who are may have differing phonological awareness. This includes precision teaching, Nessy and POPAT to ensure that all children develop a secure phonic knowledge to allow them to access a language rich world.