Curriculum Design at St. Wilfrid’s Church of England Primary Academy

Curriculum Area: Phonics    

Phonics Primary Leaders: Miss Bradburn and Mrs. Mullen

Curriculum Link Governor: Mrs. Ashton


Our Phonics curriculum aims to motivate and inspire children through a curriculum that engages and challenges all learners.  Our curriculum is designed to deepen knowledge and develop skills, with literacy at the heart, ensuring effective progression to become confident, fluent readers with secure understanding and comprehension skills.

Our Christian Values and Distinctiveness, alongside our School Mission Statement of ‘Achieve, Believe and Care’, are at the heart of our curriculum and all that we do at St. Wilfrid’s.


Within quality first teaching, ‘Essential Letters and Sounds’ (ELS), our DfE validated, complete systematic synthetic phonics programme, is effectively delivered daily to whole classes by class teachers in Reception and Key Stage 1. Daily whole class phonics lessons in these year groups follow a consistent teaching sequence, which includes review, teach, practise, apply and review. To enable children to ‘keep up’ rather than require ‘catch up’, ELS interventions are delivered to targeted children within phonics lessons and outside of lessons, by class teachers and our ELS champions. Half termly assessments are undertaken to identify gaps and monitor progress in Early Years, key Stage 1 and where appropriate to meet needs, Key Stage 2.

We use sequential and progressive decodable books to secure fluency and confidence in early reading. In Reception, Key Stage 1, and where appropriate Key Stage 2, children are provided with a phonetically decodable home reading book, which is linked to their phonics phase. Once children are secure in phonics, they are provided with a home reading book linked to their book-band reading stage.

Phase 1 starts as the children enter into Nursery and focuses on sound discrimination, environment sounds, instrumental sounds, body percussion, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and oral blending and segmenting.
Phase 2 starts as the children enter Reception.  The purpose of this phase is to teach 19 letters and move children on from oral blending and segmentation to blending and segmentation with letters.
Phase 3 introduces a further 25 graphemes most of them comprising of two letters (e.g. oa) and some comprising of three letters (e.g. igh).  This should enable children to represent 42 phonemes (sound) by a grapheme (letter).
Phase 4 is a consolidation phase, where children are introduced to longer words containing the 42 sounds already known.
Phase 5 is taught throughout Year 1 and broadens their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling.  They also learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations of these and some alternative pronunciations for graphemes they already know. 

Phase 6 is taught throughout Year 2 where children consolidate knowledge of grapheme/phoneme correspondence. This enables them to read hundreds of words through three approaches, reading words by sight (known words), decoding words quickly and quietly and sounding words out loud in order to blend.

Teachers ensure that their teaching develops pupils’ oral vocabulary as well as their ability to understand and use a variety of grammatical structures, giving particular support to pupils whose oral language skills are insufficiently developed.  Phonics is delivered through highly effective ‘quality first teaching’. Teachers continually assess learning in each lesson to ensure that children are progressing through the phases.


Our phonics curriculum enables children to become confident, fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.

In Year 1, children will take a statutory Phonics Screening Test to assess their phonic knowledge. This takes place in school during the month of June.  Children who do not achieve the required standard in the test may need to be assessed again during Year 2.

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St Wilfrid's Church of England Primary Academy
Rectory Lane, Standish, Wigan, WN6 0XB

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