Letters and Sounds

At St.Paul's, we use a systematic phonics programme called Letters and Sounds. This is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. Children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’, which are words with spellings that are unusual or that children have not yet been taught.


Phonics in Year 1

The National phonics test takes place towards the end of Year 1 and all year 1 children will take the phonics screening test in June. The check is a statutory assessment that was introduced in 2012 for all Year 1 pupils. It is a quick and easy assessment of your child’s phonic knowledge. The check comprises of a list of 40 words and nonsense (alien) words. It will assess phonics skills and knowledge learnt through Reception and Year 1. Your child will read the words with me so that they are comfortable and familiar with the process. The check will take up to 10‐15 minutes during which they will be asked to ‘sound out’ a word and blend the sounds together. The check is very similar to tasks the children already complete during phonics lessons. The children in Year 1 are familiar with the set up as I am constantly reviewing children’s progress in the same way. 

How can you help your child?

 There are a number of things that parents can do to support early reading development:

  • Let your child see you enjoy reading yourself. They are influenced by you and what you do!
  • Immerse your child in a love of reading
  • Make time for your child to read their school book to you
  • With all books, encourage your child to ‘sound out’ unfamiliar words and then blend from left to right rather than looking at pictures to guess
  • There are many phonic games for children to access on the computer

Year 1 Tricky Words (Common Exception Words)