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Elm Hall Primary School aims to ensure that all children become successful, confident readers by the end of Key Stage one and believe this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with a whole language approach that promotes a ‘Love of reading’ culture. This curriculum is aimed at reinforcing a consistent, high quality approach to the teaching and learning of phonics across the Early Years Foundation Stage, (EYFS,) Key Stage One and on into Key Stage Two for children who still need this further support. 

What is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language. Phonics involves matching the sounds of spoken English with individual letters or groups of letters. For example, the sound k can be spelled as c, k, ck or ch. Teaching children to blend the sounds of letters together helps them decode unfamiliar or unknown words by sounding them out. For example, when a child is taught the sounds for the letters tpa and s, they can start to build up the words: “tap”, “taps”, “pat”, “pats” and “sat”. This skill can then be inverted so that words can be broken down (segmented) into their component sounds in order to spell them. 

Phonics at Elm Hall Primary School:

At Elm Hall Primary School we use FFT "Success for All" Phonics (validated scheme) to teach phonics across EYFS, KS1 and beyond where needed.

The FFT Phonics programme is designed for daily use from the beginning of EYFS, enabling children to make a smooth transition from Reception to Key Stage 1. Children have a daily 25 minute phonics sessions and a daily 25 minute shared reader session. Each phonics sessions consists of reviewing previously learnt sounds (GPCs) and then teaching, practising and applying a new sound(s).

Shared Reading Lessons

It is important that children do not simply know their phonics, but they can apply this skill to reading.  Therefore as part of our FFT "Success for All" we have a daily reading session, based on the phonic skills the children have been taught.  Using fully decodable texts children are given further opportunities to use these skills and teachers modelling how to use this knowledge to support their reading. 

This application is also seen within English lessions and the wider curriculum.


Alphabet Chant

In our phonics sessions we practise the letters of the alphabet, their order and the sounds they make. If you want to practise this at home you can use this link to help you: https://youtu.be/YBiaf6CiwQQ . The images of our alphabet strip help us to remember the formation and also the sounds each written letter makes. You can find our phrases and cues below to help you at home.

Alphabet Strip

Supporting your child at home:

As a school we hold phonics workshops for our EYFS and KS1 parents. Dates and information for these can be found on our newsletter and will be communicated via Ping.

Your child will bring home a reading book every day in their book bag, alongside a reading record.  Children should be reading to an adult at home daily. When reading please focus on the front page and read the red and green words with your child before moving on to read their book. Please record when you have read with your child in their reading record. 

All children in EYFS, year one and year two (until completed) are given a red word bookmark to practise those words that cannot be sounded out. Children will need to practise writing the words in school and at home. When they are confident they will be checked and moved onto their next one.


In school we learn different phrases and cues to help us remeber the sounds. You can use the videos linked below to help you practise this at home.

FFT Success For All Phonics- GPCs Set 1


FFT Success For All Phonics- GPCs Set 2





You can use the following links to help you practise your phonics at home.

Phonics Play- Online games. Play phase 2, 3 and 4games.

Phonics Bloom- Online games. Play phase 2, 3 and 4 games.

Teach your Monster to Read- Online Games or app

Alphablocks- Phonics cartoon videos


Sound Mats-

In school we use sound mats to help us when writing. We can use the pictures to help us recognise the sound (grapheme) we need when writing. You can use your sound mat to help you at home.

FFT SFA sound mat imageFFT SFA souns mat image 2

Red Word Mats-

In school your child will be learnt to read and write red words- these are words that cannot be sounded out. In school we use our red word mats to help us write these words- you can use this mat at home to help you.

red words image 1red words image 2

Phonics Terminology

FFT SFA Phonics Terminology
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