Phonics at Ranikhet Academy

Here you will find information on how we teach phonics and reading at Ranikhet Academy and how you can help support your child at home as they progress as fluent readers. Our aim is for children to become independent, life-long readers; able to read a wide range of texts for a variety of purposes with understanding and for pleasure.

At Ranikhet we follow the Letters and Sound programme to teach phonics. We use the ‘Staple Diet’ structure for our phonics teaching, this consists of a repetitive, structured and systematic approach to learning.  Each phonics session follows a Revisit – Teach – Practice – Apply structure so the children are able to consolidate their learning. Children are closely monitored to assess their learning and they are also assessed termly to check their progress, with teaching and groups adjusted accordingly. Children are encouraged to self-correct their work in the moment through teacher feedback.

Letters and Sounds programme covers phases 1-6. Phase 1 phonics starts in nursery and phases 2-4 are covered in Reception, with phase 5/6 taught in Year 1 & 2. In Nursery, teachers use Jolly Phonics actions and songs for each sound to help them remember the letter shape, name and the sound it makes.

Phonics Workshops/drop ins

Early Years hold a Phonics Workshop in term 2 to share phonics teaching with parents help them to support their children at home. Key stage 1 invite parents to lessons to observe phonics in action. 

Reception Phonics Workshop Powerpoint - HERE



What is taught in each Phase?

Phase 1 - The focus is on listening and making sounds with mouths and bodies—e.g. environmental sounds, rhyme, rhythm, alliteration and early letter recognition.
Phase 2 - Each week, children learn single letters and their corresponding sounds in a useful order (e.g. SATPIN) so that they can begin to blend and segment short words.
Phase 3 - Phase 3 introduces ‘diagraphs’, where two letters make one sound, e.g. ai, oa, sh. Skills in blending and segmenting are further developed. Children will also be introduced to ‘trigraphs’ - three letters one sound .e.g. igh (might).
Phase 4 - This phase is an opportunity to recap all Phase 2/3 sounds in a range of contexts. Children begin to read and write 2-syllable words and words where two sounds are close together (e.g. s-l-i-p / p-l-ay / f-r-igh-t).  
Phase 5a-d - Phase 5 tackles the complexities of spelling in English and teaches children to explore alternative spellings and pronunciations for all sounds (e.g. all different spellings of /ay/). They will learn how to apply a ‘best bet’ rule (e.g. /oi/ in the middle, /oy/ at the end) and will begin reading and talking about suffixes.
Phase 6 - Children begin to tackle grammatical rules for the spellings when writing tenses, adding suffixes and prefixes, contractions and strategies for spelling tricky words.

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

In the summer term, Year 1 children do the statutory Phonics Screening Check. This involves the accurate decoding of 42 words using the phonemes learnt up to the end of Phase 5. Some of the words are real and some are not. The check is administered in a relaxed and calm environment, 1-1 with their teacher to reduce any stress for your child. The outcome of the check will be reported to you in their end of year report.


At Ranikhet we develop a love for reading as soon as they join our school. In Early Years a daily library service is available for children to select a library book in the morning. We also now offer a ‘Book Talk Project’ where parents can sign out a good quality reading book to share with their child.

Children are read to daily in their key groups and children are also given a banded book that matches their phonics phase to read at home. Early Years offer a bed time story session once a term where children can come after school for a story in their PJ’S. 

We have a wide selection of banded books in key stage 1 that the children can change regularly with adult approval. Children’s banded books are matched closely to their phonics stage to ensure they are reading phonically decodable books.

We welcome and encourage support from home with the teaching of phonics and reading. We hope that the following information will help in the partnership between home and school. Please direct any further questions to your child’s class teacher, who will be very happy to help.

Useful websites
Mr Thorne does Phonics


  • Teach your Monster to Read
  • Meet the Alphablocks
  • Twinkle Phonics Suite (British Phonics)#jolly phonics lessons
  • ABC Star—Letter tracing
  • Busy Things- Phonics

Staple Phonics diet