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Phonics and Reading Scheme

Phonics and Reading Schemes

Phonics Scheme

At St Andrew’s CE School, we use a synthetic phonics programme called Letters and Sounds a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills.  This scheme is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. Children have time to practice and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’ – words with spellings that are unusual or that children have not yet been taught. The direct teaching and learning of the sounds and spelling patterns of English is taught every day in Reception and Key Stage 1. For further information please visit the ‘Letters and Sounds’ website



Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One (Nursery/Reception)

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four(Reception) 4 to 6 weeks

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)

Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.


Reading Scheme

At St Andrew’s CE School, reading is delivered through books and resources from the Oxford Reading Tree, a well-established and popular reading scheme which is highly successful in teaching children how to read. These stories are carefully written using simple, natural sounding language that children can understand. Key words are repeated throughout the storybooks so that children can gradually increase the number of words they can recognise and read.

The Oxford Reading Tree has fifteen stages. Children start at Stage 1 when they arrive at St Andrew’s, and gradually progress through the stages until they become a ‘free reader’, and can select their own suitably-challenging reading materials from the well-resourced school library.




ORT Book Bands and age related expectations

Pink (1)

Working within Reception

Red (2)

Working within Reception

Yellow (3)

End of Reception

Blue (4)

Working within Year 1

Green (5)

End of Year 1

Orange (6)

Working within Year 2

Turquoise (7)

Working within Year 2

Purple (8)

Working within Year 2

Gold (9)

End of Year 2

White (10)

Working within Year 3

Lime (11)

End of Year 3

Brown (12)

Working within Year 4

Silver/Grey (13)

End of Year 4

Sapphire (14)

Working within Year 5

Magenta (15)

End of Year 5