St Teresa’s

Catholic Primary School & Nursery

Living, Learning, Growing in Jesus

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At St. Teresa’s Catholic Primary School and Nursery, we want all children to become confident, capable and independent readers and writers. We recognise the importance of high quality teaching for phonics and spelling.



Our phonics teaching starts in the Nursery. We use ‘Letters & Sounds’ Phase 1 to develop children’s speaking and listening skills. Developing good speaking and listening skills in Nursery lays the foundation for phonics in Reception.  You can support your child by singing nursery rhymes, identifying environmental sounds such as birdsong and playing speaking and listening games online by clicking onto the following links:

Match Sounds (Phase 1) - Online Phonics Game (

PhonicsPlay - Phase 1 Resources


In Reception and KS1 we teach daily phonics in a structured and systematic way using the phonics programme, ‘Sounds-Write.’

In Reception, children learn the Initial Code. This teaches the following skills and knowledge:

  • All single letter sounds
  • Double consonant sounds /ch/, /sh/, /th/, /ff/, /ll/ and /ss/
  • Segmenting: The ability to pull apart individual sounds in words

e.g. c-a-t = c-a-t

  • Blending – the ability to push sounds together to build words e.g. d-o-g = dog
  • Children learn to segment and blend words such as ‘it’ (vowel-consonant word) and ‘cat’ (consonant-vowel-consonant word) Children progress onto longer words such as ‘soft’ (consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant word).

 In Key Stage 1, children learn the Extended Code. This teaches the concepts:

  • Sounds may be written in more than one way e.g. aim, play, cake, great contain the same sound /ae/ however it is spelt differently.
  • One spelling can represent multiple sounds e.g. <ea> represents /ae/ in great, /e/ in head and /ee/ in dream.
  • Alongside the Extended Code, children study the Polysyllabic Code. These are words with more than one syllable e.g. window, fantastic.


Phonics continues in Key Stage 2 where the principles of Sounds-Write are used to teach spellings and where needed, personalised interventions are put in place.


Phonics Tips for Parents:

  • Listen to your children read their reading book each day.
  • Read books to your child every day. Look for words that contain sounds they have been learning. Encourage your child to read these words for themselves.  
  • Words are all around us! Look at words in the environment for your child to read e.g. words in the home, words in shops, words on signs and on packets, the list is endless!
  • Remember to say letter sounds and not the letter names.
  • Show your child the correct letter formation and write letters in lower case and not capitals.
  • When reading and writing, encourage your child to say the sounds they can hear.
  • Find out more about the ‘Sounds-Write’ programme by registering for the online course, free for everyone!