Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Reading and Phonics

Reading and Phonics at Oasis Academy Blakenhale Infants

At Oasis Academy Blakenhale we employ a systematic approach to phonics and other word reading strategies whilst seeking to promote a life -long love of reading.

We are currently in a transitional period in our approach to teaching reading. As of September 2021 our EYFS classes have used the phonic scheme Book Wings to teach reading. Year 1 and 2 are currently still using Letters and Sounds for their phonic lessons, as we are introducing our new Books Wings approach in phases.

 The uniqueness of Book Wings Phonics is that the synthetic phonics teaching opportunities are embedded within the context of real books; books written by skilled and well-known writers and illustrators who know how to engage children and make them want to read for pleasure. The experiences the children have in Book Wings lessons are multi-sensory, exciting and memorable.

Children learn to recognise phonemes and graphemes, and to blend them to read words. They also learn to recognise common and decodable words, and tricky words which are not decodable, by sight.

From September 2022, all of the EYFS and year one children will be using Book Wings.

What does phonics include?

Phonics is a way of teaching reading where children are taught to read letters or group of letters by the sounds they represent. There are 26 letters in the alphabet, but they make 44 different sounds. Phonics lessons teach children these sounds which are known as ‘phonemes’.

To find out how to pronounce each sound, follow this link to a useful video:


Phonic Knowledge and Skills

One (Nursery/Reception)  

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting. Click here to find out more.

Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions. Click here to find out more.

Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language. Click here to find out more.

Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump. Click here to  find out more.

Five (Throughout Year 1)

Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know. Click here and here to find out more.

Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond) 

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.


Tricky words, those common words that can’t always be sounded out, are taught alongside these phases. If you are unsure which phase your child is currently working on, please ask their class teacher who will be more than happy to help!

You may find that your child comes home using a range of new words to describe how they learn. We hope the following glossary is useful to you. Always feel free to come in and talk to us if you require any further support, and look out for our phonics and reading workshops throughout the year!

Key Vocabulary


Blending is the skill of joining sounds together to read words. Children are taught to say the separate sounds in a word and then blend them together to decode the word. (eg: c –a - t = cat)


 Segmenting is the opposite of blending. Children are taught to segment a word into its separate sounds in order to spell it. (eg: cat= c – a – t)


 A digraph is a sound that is represented by two letters e.g. the sound ‘ai' in rain.


 A trigraph is a sound that is represented by three letters e.g. the sound ‘igh’ in high.

 split digraph

 A split digraph is a digraph that is separated by other letters (e.g. the sound ‘a-e’ in snake)


A grapheme is a visual representation of a sound. Some sounds are represented by a single letter whilst others are represented by more than one letter.


 A phoneme is a unit of sound. For example, the word 'cat' contains three phonemes; c - a - t.


 Useful Resources:

Here are a number of useful resources to support your child’s learning (click on each to go to the relevant website):

Letters and Sounds

Phonics Play

Teach Your Monster To Read

Oxford Owl

Top Marks


Reading with your child