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Literacy and Phonics

As a Talk for Writing school, all children learn to write through Talk for Writing. Talk for Writing was developed by the author Pie Corbett. It is a fun, creative yet also rigorous approach to develop writers.


Talk for Writing starts with enjoying and sharing stories. Throughout the school, we place a strong emphasis on children reading stories and enjoying a range of literature. Through regular reading, we want children to build up an extensive and rich vocabulary for use in their own writing.


During the initial 'imitation' stage of Talk for Writing, children learn to tell a story off by heart. They retell a text with expression and actions and make use of a story map to support their retelling. Once the story is learnt, children are encouraged to adapt it. At the 'innovation' stage, children make the story their own, for example, by changing the character or setting. Finally, at the 'invention stage, children write or tell their own text independently.


This term we will be learning to retell these stories -

  1. Three Billy Goats Gruff
  2. Little Red Riding Hood
  3. Three Little Pigs
  4. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  5. The Gingerbread Man
  6. The Little Owl


Phonics Information


Here at Stenson Fields Community Primary school, we are starting to follow a new scheme this year called 'Little Wandle' (Letters and Sounds revised). This is what we will follow to teach phonics to your children. This will be starting soon. In the mean time we will be starting the Letters and Sounds scheme.


It aims to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It is a systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.


Phonics is taught in phases. In Foundation Stage we focus on Phases 2-4 over the course of the year.


In Phase 2, letters and their sounds are introduced one at a time in the following sequence:

Set 1: s, a, t, p
Set 2: i, n, m, d
Set 3: g, o, c, k
Set 4: ck, e, u, r
Set 5: h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss

As soon as each set of letters is introduced, children will be encouraged to use their knowledge of the letter sounds to blend and sound out words. For example, they will learn to blend the sounds s-a-t to make the word sat. They will also start learning to segment words. For example, they might be asked to find the letter sounds that make the word tap from a small selection of letters.



By the time they reach Phase 3, children will already be able to blend and segment words containing the 19 letters taught in Phase 2.

Over the twelve weeks which Phase 3 is expected to last, twenty-five new sounds are introduced.

Set 6: j, v, w, x

Set 7: y, z, zz, qu

Consonant digraphs: ch, sh, th, ng

Vowel digraphs: ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er



When children start Phase Four they will be able to blend phonemes to read CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and segment in order to spell them.

Children will also have begun reading straightforward two-syllable words and simple captions, as well as reading and spelling some tricky words.

In Phase 4, no new sounds are introduced. The main aim of this phase is to consolidate the children's knowledge and to help them learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and milk.


Your child will also be taught Tricky Words and High frequency Words, lists of which can be found below.

Tricky words are words which cannot be sounded out. The only way these words can be read and spelt correctly is by learning them.

High frequency words (sometimes called sight words) are words that children instantly recognize without having to decode them (sound them out).

Phonics Meeting in Autumn 1 2020

Useful phonics videos and resources to support your child:




Fun Online Games: