Our approach to Phonics

At Chesterton Primary School we believe that for all our children to become fluent readers and writers, phonics must be taught through a systematic and structured phonics programme.

We use the Letters and Sounds framework to plan and provide daily engaging and active phonics lessons. In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of ways and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing. Our phonics teaching starts in Nursery and follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. At Chesterton we also model these strategies in shared reading and writing both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on the development of language and language skills for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

How we teach Phonics

At Chesterton Primary School we

  • Teach children that phonics helps us to read and write.
  • Follow a specific Letters and Sounds four part lesson structure and teaching sequence (review, teach, practise, apply) which promotes independence, resilience and success in all our learners.
  • Ensure that all phonics teaching is delivered with pace and passion.
  • Include an active element to all lessons that ensures participation for all learners.
  • Teach Phonics in small groups.
  • Use 100% decodable books in phonics lessons so that children can directly apply their new knowledge and phonic skills at an appropriate level. (We use books from a range of schemes such as Oxford Songbirds, Dandelion Readers and Collins Big Cat.)
  • Ensure that children take home a book that matches their phonic ability
  • Invite all parents to attend phonics, reading and writing workshops to support their children with the development of their child’s phonics skills.

Useful links 

Cbeebies - Alphablocks

Oxford Owl Letters and Sounds 


Phonics pic

Phonics picture

Phonics picture