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At Harold Wood Primary school we aim to provide all children with high quality phonics teaching in order to equip them with the necessary skills to become independent readers…and writers.


High quality systematic phonic work teaches children the correspondences between graphemes in written language and phonemes in spoken language, and how to use these correspondences to read and spell words. Phonics is systematic when all the major grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in a clearly defined sequence.


Guided by reliable assessments of children’s developing knowledge and skills, teachers will judge the rate at which their children are able to progress through the phases and adapt the pace accordingly. As with much else in these early years, some children will be capable of, and benefit from, learning at a faster pace than their peers whereas others may need more time and support to secure their learning.  We therefore organise Years 1 and 2 into Phonic groups that cater for your child’s appropriate needs and developing knowledge.  Please find your child’s weekly spellings under their Phonics teachers page on the school website.


Please explore the Phase that your child is currently working on:


Phase Three completes the teaching of the alphabet, and children move on to sounds represented by more than one letter.


In Phase Four children learn to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants.


Phase Five would not be needed if there were a perfect one-to-one mapping between graphemes and phonemes. However, English is unlike most other languages as many of the mappings are one-to-several in both directions: that is to say, most phonemes can be spelled in more than one way, and most graphemes can represent more than one phoneme.

Some words are not decodable and the children need to be able to recognise the words on sight. You may hear these words referred to as High Frequency Words or tricky words. These are your child's weekly spellings. If you would like the opportunity to further encourage your child to learn these words, the following lists and resources are useful.

There are also 'Common Exception' words which the children need to spell and read accurately. There are lists of these words for Year 1 and 2. Below are these lists for your reference:

Phonics play