Girlington Primary School

Girlington Primary School


Our Progression - How we 'Grow the Code'


The foundations for phonics begins in Nursery where children engage in activities to develop their ability to listen to and hear the difference (discriminate) between sounds. 

Towards the end of Nursery, or sooner if they are ready, children begin to blend and segment words through games such as 'What's in the Box'



Formal teaching of phonics is started as soon as children start Reception. They begin phase 2 of the Little Wandle phonics programme which quickly teaches them the first 35 graphemes and how to blend and segment them in order to begin to read and spell simple words. As they move into phase 3, children will continue to learn new phonemes and the graphemes that represent them, including those where 2 or 3 letters make 1 sound. They will also learn to read longer words as well as continuing to build up their sight vocabulary of tricky words. In phase 4, children will continue to read longer words including those with adjacent consonants and suffixes. 

Year 1

In Year 1, children begin by consolidating what they have learned in Reception before moving onto phase 5 where they are taught to 'grow the code' by learning all of the alternate graphemes which make up the alphabetic code. This enables them to be able to decode and read almost any word that they may come across. 


Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1. 


Year 2



By adopting a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics, our aim is for all children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. This enables them to concentrate on other skills for reading as they progress through KS2.  

This document explains what your child will learn in each term of Reception and Year 1