Palterton Primary School

The Palterton Curriculum - English, including Phonics

English, communication and languages lie at the heart of our capacity to imagine, think and create and make a crucial contribution to the children's development as successful learners. Their developing use of language underpins our children's achievement across the curriculum and lays the foundations for active involvement in cultural life, society, work and lifelong learning.*

Teachers in our school develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching... Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.**

Curriculum Design

Our English curriculum is based on the National Curriculum for England for Years 1 to 6. We use the Foundation Stage Development Matters document to support planning of mathematical learning in the Foundation Stage (Renishaw Class).


There are Three Key Areas in the English National Curriculum for Years 1 to 6:

  • Spoken Language

  • Reading

  • Writing


In delivering our English Curriculum, we ensure that all our children develop fluency in the Three Key Areas. There is more information about each of these three areas further down this page.


The teaching of Phonics is a fundamental element of developing children's early reading abilities. We aim to ensure that all our children have a high level of phonic fluency by the age of 6.

Daily Phonics 

Every day the children between 20 – 30 minute sessions of phonics.
Fast paced approach.
We use the Letters and Sounds planning document to support the teaching of phonics and Jolly Phonics.
There are 6 phonics phases which the children work through at their own pace.

Phonic Terms

Phonemes: The smallest units of sound that are found within a word
Grapheme: The spelling of the sound e.g. Th
Diagraph: Two letters that make one sound when read
Trigraphs: Three letters that make one sound
CVC: Stands for consonant, vowel, consonant.
Segmenting is breaking up a word into its sounds.
Blending : Putting the sounds together to read a word
Tricky words: Words that cannot easily be decoded

Phase 2: Learning phonemes to read and write simple words

Children will learn their first 19 phonemes:
Set 1: s a t p Set 2: i n m d
Set 3: g o c k Set 4: ck (as in duck) e u r
Set 5: h b l f ff (as in puff) ll (as in hill) ss (as in hiss)

They will use these phonemes to read and spell simple “consonant-vowel-consonant” (CVC) words:
sat, tap, dig, duck, rug, puff, hill, hiss
All these words contain 3 phonemes.

Phase 3: Learning the long vowel phonemes

Children will enter phase 3 once they know the first 19 phonemes and can blend and segment to read and spell CVC words.
They will learn another 26 phonemes:
j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu
ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er
They will use these phonemes (and the ones from Phase 2) to read and spell words:
chip, shop, thin, ring, pain, feet, night,
boat, boot, look, farm, fork, burn,
town, coin, dear, fair, sure

Phase 4: Introducing consonant clusters: reading and spelling words with four or more phonemes

Children move into phase 4 when they know all the phonemes from phases 2 and 3 and can use them to read and spell simple words (blending to read and segmenting to spell).

Phase 4 doesn’t introduce any new phonemes.
It focuses on reading and spelling longer words with the phonemes they already know.
These words have consonant clusters at the beginning:
spot, trip, clap, green, clown
…or at the end: tent, mend, damp, burnt
…or at the beginning and end! trust, spend, twist

Phase 5

Teach new graphemes for reading
ay, ou, ie, ea, oy, ir, ue, aw, wh, ph, ew, oe, au,
a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e

Learn alternative pronunciations of graphemes (the same grapheme can represent more than one phoneme):
Fin/find, hot/cold, cat/cent, got/giant, but/put, cow/blow, tie/field, eat/bread, farmer/her, hat/what, yes/by/very, chin/school/chef, out/shoulder/could/you

Teaching the split digraph

How we teach split diagraphs
Some sounds are special friends but misbehave when they are together so they have a letter to keep them apart – a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e as in cake, phone, huge, smile.


The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check is an assessment to confirm whether pupils have learnt their letter sounds and whether they can use them to decode and read a range of words of increasing phonic complexity.
It is a compulsory requirement that all schools carry out the check.
Class teachers will conduct the phonic check with each Year 1 child in their class on a 1:1 basis.

Which words will ‘The Check’ contain?

The check will contain a mixture of real words (dark, phone, stripe, starling, turnip, picture) and non-words or pseudo words (usk, bamph, stort, straip, blurst).
There will be forty words in total. The pass mark changes each year. Last year they needed to score 32 or more out of 40 to ‘pass’.

How will I find out the results of ‘The Check’?

If the results are known in time they will be in your child’s end of year report, if not a separate notification will be sent.
If your child does not pass, during year 2 they will continue to be supported through targeted interventions. They then re-sit the check with Year 1.

Resources we use to support our teaching


We plan from Letters and Sounds, and use Jolly Phonics materials to support our learning and teaching.


Our main reading scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree scheme. We do use others - ask your child's teacher if you would like information about the other schemes.


We use the principles of Ros Wilson's Big Writing to support the development of high quality extended writing

(Clicking on the images above will take you to some useful parent information from the external providers websites.)

Click on the links below to find some fun phonic games or further information about phonics. 

Enter text...

Spoken Language

Add details of spoken language


Add details of Reading


Add details of Writing

* - extract from "The National Primary Curriculum Handbook", p25, Feb 2010, QCDA

** - extract taken from "The National Curriculum in England", p10, September 2013, DfE

Back Lane, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S44 6UN