The Village Academy

The Village Academy is a group of town, city and village schools that have joined together to provide the very best education for the children in our care and where we believe that education is very much a matter of the individual.

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At Lydd Primary School we follow the 'Letters and Sounds' phonics programme. This is a synthetic phonics programme that is divided into six phases, as detailed below.

Here is a link to the complete Letters and Sounds document.

letters_and_sounds_-_dfes-00281-2007.pdf (



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

Children learn 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each, and how to blend sounds together to make words. They also learn to segment words into their separate sounds to write words (c - a - t). Children are taught to read simple captions.

(s, a, t, p, I, n, m, d, g, o, c, k, ck, e, u, r, h, l, ll, f, ff, ss)

Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks

Children are taught 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 are also taught. Children learn to read 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.

(j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu, ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er)

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, crunch, strap, script.

Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)

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

(Alternative spellings of ay, ou, oy, ea, ir, ew, aw, wh, ph, oe, au, a_e, e_e, i_e, o_e, u_e)

(Alternative pronunciations of I, o, c, g, u, ow, ie, ea, er, a, y, ch, ou)

Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)

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


It is very important that the sounds are pronounced correctly so that they can easily be blended together. This video shows how the sounds should be pronounced, and is very useful for when hearing your child read at home!


Phonics Glossary

Here are some words that you might hear your child using when talking about Phonics.


Blending is the skill of joining sounds together to read words. Children are taught to say the separate sounds in a word and to then blend them together to decode the word.


A digraph is a sound that is represented by two letters e.g. the sound 'a' in rain is represented by the digraph 'ai'.


A trigraph is a sound that is represented by three letters e.g. igh, ear and ure


A grapheme is a visual representation of a sound e.g. a letter or a group of letters.

Some sounds are represented by a single letter whilst others are represented by more than one letter.


 A phoneme is a unit of sound e.g. the word 'cat' contains three phonemes; c - a - t.


 Segmenting is the opposite of blending. Children are taught to segment a word into its separate sounds in order to spell it.

 split digraph

 A split digraph is a digraph that is separated by other letters e.g. the sound 'a' in the word take is represented by the split digraph a-e.

This link provides more information on the words used at school when teaching Phonics; 


The Phonics Screening Check.

The Phonics Screening Check is an assessment at the end of Year 1 to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonetic decoding to an appropriate standard. It enables schools to identify children who need additional help, so ensure they are given support to improve their reading skills. It is a Statutory Requirement to carry out the screening check.

The check is a short, simple screening check which consists of a list of 40 words and pseudo words (non-words), which the child reads one-to-one with their class teacher.

The Phonics Screening Check usually takes place in June, but has been cancelled in June 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Ways to help your child at home

This link is to a video that shows how to blend sounds together to read words, which is crucial to learning to read


  • Practise reading at home with your child regularly - a little and often really helps! If your child stumbles on a word, encourage them to sound it out. But if they still can't get it, provide the word so they don't get discouraged. Encourage children to read books more than once so their reading becomes fluent.
  • Boost comprehension. Ask questions like, "What do you think will happen next?" or "What did he mean by that?" 
  • Revisit familiar books. It's okay if your child wants to re-read favourite books from earlier years. In fact, it's actually beneficial!
  • Read aloud to your child. Choose books on topics that excite your child, and read with gusto, using different voices for each character. Reading aloud and sharing books will widen vocabulary and boost their imagination!
  • Notice sounds in the environment. When you go for a walk draw your child's attention to sounds written on signs or in shop windows, and at home notice sounds and common words written on cereal packets or in magazines!
  • Promote a love of reading. Show your child how much you value reading by having plenty of books and magazines around the house, and getting caught reading yourself. You'll teach phonics as well as cultivate a lifelong love of reading.
  • Give lots of praise! Praise your child for trying hard and doing their best.
  • Speak with your child's teacher. If you have any questions speak to your child's teacher, who will be very happy to talk about Phonics and how we can work together to support the children. 

These links provides top tips on how to support your child with reading at home;


Useful websites to use at home

Letters and Sounds ( - lots of free resources and games

PhonicsPlay - Resources - lots of free games for all phases

Phonics Games for the Classroom and Home - Phonics Bloom - some free games

Overview - Letters and Sounds - videos of lessons for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 (this is a fantastic resource)

'Geraldine the Giraffe' videos on YouTube also offer fun reinforcement of new phonemes

Here is the 's' link Geraldine the Giraffe - /s/ HD - YouTube