Our Approach to Reading and Phonics

In EYFS and KS1 at Bolton St Catherine's Academy we learn phonics every day. We are in groups depending on the phonics phase we are learning. Each Phonics lesson lasts 20 minutes.

Phonics helps us learn to read and write. When we have learned our sounds and tricky words we can read for enjoyment.

In Phase 1 we learn listening skills and start to learn rhyming songs. We go for "sound walks" and play listening games.

In Phase 2 we learn the sounds each letter of the alphabet makes and start to learn how to read words by putting the sounds together. We start to learn tricky words that cannot be sounded out.

In Phase 3 we learn the sounds made by 2 or 3 letters blending together and how to sound out words we are unsure of. We start to write down the words and use them in sentences. We learn more tricky words.

Phase 4 doesn't introduce new sounds, we apply the learning from Phase 2 and 3 in our reading and writing.

Phase 5 is about alternative sounds - eg. ow/ou, ie/igh, eer/ear/ier. We try to find these sounds in passages of text. (Phoneme spotters). We learn to spot rules that govern which sounds are used where - and when rules don't apply! We learn how to spell polysyllabic words.

Phase 6 is learning the way grammar is applied in our writing. We learn about adding suffixes to words to change the tenses. We look at compound words. We practise our handwriting so our written work is neat.

We learn by using a range of programmes of learning:

Letters and Sounds – this is the main Phonics Programme we use to teach Early Reading.

Phonics Play – this site has fun games to practise our reading skills.

Education City – this site has more fun games to practice our reading and understanding skills.


For children who find this approach does not suit their needs we have specialist trained staff who follow the Read Write Inc Programme.

If you want further support helping your child with phonics, or to know which phase your child is in so you can practise at home, please ask the Class Teacher.