The Gruffalo

The children shown a really interest in the Gruffalo during one of story times last week and the Gruffalo must have been listening as he visited our classroom on Monday. Although the children did not get to see him, they were so excited to find his footprints and they enjoyed going on a Gruffalo hunt. The children believe he might have been living in the woods at the bottom of the playground.

This inspired us to create our own character pictures and descriptions.

The Leaf Man

The children have been exploring the story, The Leaf Man. They have enjoyed creating their own leaf men and have been learning how to label their designs. 

Super Duper You

The children explored the story 'Super Duper You' by Sophy Henn. They then explored how to create a self-portrait and write their names.

Room on the Broom

The children enjoyed the story Room on the Broom. They learnt to retell the story using Pie Corbett story telling techniques. We also explored rhyming patterns and how to write an ingredients list for our own potion making.

Letters to Santa

The children shown great interest in writing their own Christmas wish lists so we wrote our own letters to Santa and went to our local postbox to send our letters to Father Christmas.


A balance between Letters and Sounds and Read Write Inc is the resource we use in Reception. Children begin the Letters and Sounds programme whilst attending our nursery. During this time they will explore Phase 1 which focuses on environmental sounds, rhyme,rhythm and alliteration. This best prepares the children as they start Reception, often meaning that the children are ready to begin phase 2.

Every child in Reception has a 15-20 minute phonics session every morning.

As mentioned above, the Letters and Sounds programme is separated from Phase 1 to Phase 6. Below, you will find links that explain each Phase further. 

Phase 1 - Letters & Sounds

Phase 1 is the very start of your child's journey. It is all about listening to sounds and learning to discriminate between different sounds. The Phase focuses on sounds in everyday life rather than sounds in words. Phase 1 lays the essential foundations for all the learning that follows. If your child cannot identify individual sounds in the everyday world and differentiate between them e.g. a car horn and a boiling kettle, then they will struggle to begin hearing the separate sounds that make up words.

Phase 2

In Phase 2 children are introduced to letters (and the corresponding sounds) for the first time. Below you will see an overview of the main teaching content of this phase.

In Phase 2 children are taught 19 letters grouped into 5 sets. One set will generally be taught in one week.

 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


Children are encouraged to begin 'blending' sounds into words straight away. Therefore, having been taught only Set 1, children can make (and read) words like at, sat & pat.

Nonsense words, such as 'tas' are also acceptable as they allow children to explore sounds freely. Mis-spelt words (which are phonetically correct) are also allowable e.g. pas. In time, children will be shown the correct spelling. Remember, the initial focus is on reading; blending separate sounds into words.

As children learn all the Sets in Phase 2, they will be able to read an increasing number of words.

You will notice that 'double consonants' (ff / ss / ll) are taught early. This illustrates to children that sometimes more than one letter can represent a single sound. In the case of these letters it is the same sound as the single letter represents. In Phase 3 children are taught that this is not always the case.

The grapheme 'ck' is taught in Phase 2 as it features in many of the early words that children learn e.g. back, neck and sack.

Phase 3

In Phase 3 children continue to use all the sounds they were taught in Phase 2. In addition, they are taught additional sounds (phonemes) and the letters / groups of letters that represent them (graphemes). 

In this Phase a further 25 letters and graphemes are taught. The final two sets of letters are taught first.

 Set 6

 j / v / w / x

 Set 7

 y / z, zz / qu


Once Sets 6 & 7 have been taught children learn about graphemes where more than one letter represents one sound e.g. the grapheme 'ai' represents one sound in the word 'rain'.

Click on each grapheme below to download a set of A5 flashcards with words containing this grapheme. Practise reading these with your child.



(as in chip)


(as in shop)


(as in thin)


(as in then)


(as in ring)


(as in rain)


(as in feet)


(as in night)


(as in book)


(as in boot)


(as in farm)


(as in for)


(as in hurt)


(as in cow)


(as in coin)


(as in dear)


(as in fair)


(as in sure)


(as in her)



*The grapheme 'th' represents more than one sound. You may need to listen carefully to hear the difference.

**The grapheme 'oo' also represents more than one sound.

 Useful Resources 

Hear each letter sound. We are often asked how each letter (or pair of letters) is pronounced. The link below will take you to the BBC Phonics tool which will enable you to hear the pronunciation of each sound.

Click here to hear each letter sound.

Phonics Play

Tricky Word Song