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Letters and Sounds Coverage

Letters and Sounds


Phase 1


Aspect 1: Environmental sounds
  • To develop children's listening skills and awareness of sounds in the environment.
  • Further development of vocabulary and children's identification of the difference between sounds.
  • To make up simple sentences and talk in greater detail about sounds.


Aspect 2: Instrumental sounds
  • To experience and develop awareness of sounds with instruments and noise makers.
  • To listen to and appreciate the different sounds made with instruments.
  • To use a wide vocabulary to talk about the sounds instruments make.


Aspect 3: Body percussion.
  • To develop awareness of sounds and rhythm.
  • To distinguish between sounds and to remember patterns of sound.
  • To talk about the sounds we make with our bodies and what the sounds mean.


Aspect 4: Rhythm and rhyme
  • To experience and appreciate rhythm and rhyme and to develop awareness of rhythm and rhyme and speech.
  • To increase awareness of words that rhyme and to develop knowledge about rhyme.
  • To talk about words that rhyme and to produce rhyming words.


Aspect 5: Alliteration
  • To develop understanding of alliteration.
  • To explore how different sounds are articulated, and to extend understanding of alliteration.


Aspect 6: Voice sounds
  • To distinguish between the differences in vocal sounds, including oral blending and segmenting.
  • To explore speech sounds.
  • To talk about the difference sounds that we can make with our voices.


Aspect 7: Oral blending and segmenting
  • To develop oral blending and segmenting of sounds in words.
  • To listen to phonemes within words and to remember them in the order in which they occur.
  • To talk about the different phonemes that make up words.


Phase 2-covered initially in Reception

The purpose of this phase is to teach at least 19 letters, and move children from oral blending and segmentation to blending and segmenting with letters. By the end of the phase many children should be able to read some VC and CVC words and to spell them using either magnetic letters or by writing letters. They will also learn to read the tricky words the, no, go, to


Letter progression
  • Set 1: s a t p
  • Set 2: i n m d
  • Set 3: g o c k
  • Set 4: ck e u r
  • Set 5: h b f, ff l, ll s, ss


Phase 3-covered initially in Reception

The purpose of this phase is to teach another 25 graphemes, most of them comprising two letters. Children also continue to practise CVC blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions. They will learn letter names during this phase, learn to read more tricky words and also begin to learn to spell some of these words

  • Set 6: j v w x
  • Set 7: y z, zz qu*

ch ar

sh or

th ur

ng ow

ai oi

ee ear

igh air

oa ure

oo er


Phase 4

The purpose of this phase is to consolidate children's knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words.

  • Practise recognition and recall of Phase two and Phase three graphemes and reading and spelling CVC words.



Phase 5 - Throughout KS1
  • The purpose of this phase is is for children to broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant. Some of the alternatives will already have been encountered in the high-frequency words that have been taught. Children become quicker at recognising graphemes of more than one letter in words and at blending the phonemes they represent. When spelling words they will learn to choose the appropriate graphemes to represent phonemes and begin to build word-specific knowledge of the spellings of words.



Phase 6 - Throughout KS1
  • By the beginning of Phase Six, children should know most of the common grapheme– phoneme correspondences (GPCs). They should be able to read hundreds of words, doing this in three ways:
  • reading the words automatically if they are very familiar;
  • decoding them quickly and silently because their sounding and blending routine is now well established;
  • decoding them aloud. Children’s spelling should be phonemically accurate, although it may still be a little unconventional at times.
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