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St Michael With St John Church of England Primary School

Nurture, Inspire, Achieve!






Jolly Phonics is taught from the beginning of the Reception Year. Pupils entering Reception will have experienced a range of listening activities and will have acquired a sound underpinning of phonological awareness. They will be able to distinguish between speech sounds and many will be able to blend and segment words orally.


Pupils will be taught the 26 letters in the English alphabet system. They will therefore move from oral blending and segmenting to blending and segmenting using letters (graphemes).  They will also be introduced to reading two-syllable words, captions and tricky words.


During the first half term in Reception, pupils will be taught to recognise most of the letters in the alphabet system. They will learn one new letter/sound per day and will begin to use phonic strategies to blend for reading and segment for spelling these phonetically regular words from the very start.  Every lesson follows a highly structured teaching sequence which begins by revisiting prior learning in order for pupils to secure their knowledge of taught phoneme (sounds) / grapheme (letters) correspondences. Following this, the teach element introduces pupils to one new phoneme/grapheme correspondence. They will also learn to form this letter correctly, identify both the upper / lower case letter, learn the letter name and the sound (phoneme) as well as learn long and short vowel sounds in order to avoid any misconceptions from the very beginning. In the practise part of the lesson, pupils will engage in blending and segmenting activities. These skills will be taught using explicit phonic strategies that are consistently used throughout every year group within school to provide consistency and clarity. Finally, the apply part of the lesson gives pupils the opportunity to use their understanding of the new phoneme/grapheme within a ‘real’ reading or writing situation.


The phonics lesson is delivered using a multi-sensory approach so as to appeal to all learning styles. Pupils are taught letters/sounds via an engaging story, song with an action (mnemonic) and visually engaging illustrations. This allows for a secure retention of new learning due to its ability to inspire young learners.





At the beginning of the spring term, pupils will continually revisit and consolidate their prior learning. They will also be introduced to increasingly complex phonic concepts such as the most commonly used digraphs. These are two letter representations that when they feature together in a word, make just one sound (phoneme). The English Alphabet system may only have 26 letters, but there are 42 different spoken sounds depending on the combination of letters that go together in a word. An example of this is: shee-p. Sheep contains two digraphs (two letters that make one sound).


Pupils learn the consonant digraphs such as: ch, sh, th, ng. They will then progress onto learning vowel digraphs such as: (oo, er, ar, oi), (ai, ee/or, ie, oa), (ue, ou). Children will continue to apply their blending and segmenting skills in reading and writing focusing on words containing two-syllables and complex words containing digraphs. They will also learn to read and spell some more Tricky Words (he, she, me, we, be, was, are, all, do).


The digraphs learnt so far will be constantly revisited. During this half term, pupils will learn the trigraphs (three letters that make one sound) igh, air, ear, ure. They will also blend and segment words and sentences containing the new correspondences. Pupils will also progress onto Section 4 of the Jolly Phonics programme where they will learn to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants (CCVC and CVCC). Words such as: frog, spot, tent, lamp.





During the summer term, pupils will continue to progress through the Jolly Phonics programme and will be taught to blend and segment increasing complex words that contain both adjacent consonants and all of the digraphs and trigraphs introduced previously. In addition to this, pupils will also be taught to form capital letters correctly.


As pupils progress towards the end of their Jolly Phonics programme in the Reception Year, they will continue to consolidate their phonic knowledge by applying their skills of digraphs / trigraphs and will be challenged to use increasingly complex words through reading sentences and writing dictated captions. Within this Section, pupils will also be introduced to words that contain Split Vowel Digraphs (a_e, e_e, i_e, o_e, u_e) such as: sale, Pete, bike.


By the end of the year, pupils will have also been taught to recognise a number of new tricky words: go, no, so, they, you, one, by, come, some, your, said, here, there, only, old, like, have, live, give, little, down, what, when, why, where, who, which.