Phonics Curriculum Statement


At Medlock Primary School we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that phonics provides the solid foundations in order for children to become fluent and accurate in their reading and writing. Through phonics, children learn to segment words to support their spelling and blend sounds to read words. High quality teaching of phonics is our highest priority for those early years at school.  


At Medlock, we use the Department of Education approved document ‘Letters and Sounds’ and supplement this in the Early Years with Jolly Phonics actions for our teaching of phonics. This ensures our phonics teaching and learning is progressive from our Two Year Old Room up to Year 2.


Children in our Two Year Old room and Nursery work on Phase One phonics, as well as laying foundations for all that comes before phonics. This vital early work concentrates on developing their speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the more formal phonic work which starts in Phase 2.


As children move into Reception (or at the end of nursery for those who are ready) they continue to build on their listening skills and are introduced to Phase 2 which marks the start of systematic phonics work.


They have discrete, daily phonics sessions where they revise previous learning, are taught new graphemes/phonemes, practise together and apply what they have learnt. Through Letters and Sounds, the children are taught the 44 phonemes that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling.


These phonemes include those made by just one letter and those that are made by two or more. Children work through the different phases and as they grow in confidence and experience, they are introduced to alternative ways of representing the same sound. 


Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Children can then focus on developing comprehension and greater fluency throughout the rest of school. Teachers and teaching assistants leading phonics sessions are constantly assessing the progress of individual children within a session or series of lessons and making adaptations to teaching or interventions based on this assessment.  


Attainment in phonics is formally measured by the ‘Phonics Screening Test’ at the end of Year 1. For a few children, who may have had less success or time to learn the 44 phonemes, there is an opportunity to retake the Phonics Screening Test in year 2 after children have received additional phonics support. Click on button to the government information about Phonics and the Screening.

NOTE: Due to the disruption to learning caused by the pandemic there will be no formal phonics screening test for the children in Year 1 this academic year (summer 2021) although the children’s phonics progress will be reported on and shared with parents and carers at the end of the year.


It is expected that children currently in Year 1 will sit the national phonics screening test in autumn of Year 2.