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Purple Oaks Academy


From when our students join the academy they are exposed to listening and speaking opportunities which will form the foundations of learning to read and write.

At Purple Oaks Academy we use a mixture of pre phonics activities and Letters and Sounds to deliver a phonics programme that enables our students to learn to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. 

Pre Phonics 

Many of our students join the academy at the very earliest stages of learning language and may be exploring sounds in the environment and starting to understand that sounds and words have meaning. 

During Pre Phonics the emphasis is on Looking, Listening and Joint Attention.

Pre phonics falls into 4 categories:

  • Environmental sounds – Water sounds, Outdoor walks, Animal sounds, weather sounds
  • Instrumental sounds – Drum beats, Pots and pans, Bells, Shakers
  • Voice sounds – Action sounds, Using mirrors
  • Rhythm and rhyme, actions and body percussion – Clapping, Patting, Stamping, Quiet and Loud, Fast and Slow, TAC PAC

Students access reading in Pre Phonics through ‘The Reading Experience’. 

This is where children share the 'love of reading' through using books that motivate them, 

holding their interests and giving them pleasure. 

Some children access tactile sensory books and complete activities that work on the pre-requisite skills to reading. 

Students “read” signs, symbols, words, numbers and pictures within the environment.


When assessment shows us they are ready students follow the 'Letters and Sounds' scheme of work to teach phonic skills. To support with reading, all of our early reading books use a phonics based approach. Phonic patterns are used for spelling lists and are further developed through handwriting practise.

Phonics it taught daily by following the sequence below:

Revisit and review

Practice previously learned letters or graphemes​


Teach new graphemes​


Practice blending and reading words with new sound (sound buttons, dashes and dots)​

Practice segmenting and spelling words with new sound (sounding out on fingers)​

(My turn, your turn)​


Read or write words, captions or sentences using new sounds​

Students will access phonics sessions within the class and also across classes in their phase where we identify students who are working at a similar phase of Letters and Sounds. 

As set out by the Department of Education, Year 1 students and students from Year 2 who need to resit, complete a phonics screening check to assess the phonics knowledge of children across the country. The check takes place during the month of June. ​Students will sit with a teacher and be asked to read 40 words aloud, half of which are real words and half are pseudo words.​ Results will be shared with parents and published online.​

More information can be found by clicking on the document link below and at the following website: ​


In Upper Phase those students who require further phonics support take part in small booster groups delivered by our trained Learning Assistants. We use a variety of materials to plan for these groups.

Please see the list of websites below which you may find useful in supporting your child with their phonics, or ask your child's class teacher if you would like further advice on how to support your child with phonics.

Lots of information and guidance for parents/carers

A selection of simple interactive games for all phonic phases.

A great selection of games that link well with games in Letters and Sounds.

Printable resources for each of the Letters and Sounds phonic phases, also links to games aligned with each phase.


Letter names come up in alphabetical order

Activities for all phases

Phonic game with choice of difficulty (some HFWs, some vowel blends, very varied)

Make any words with this useful game.

Useful page which demonstrates pronunciation of all sounds


Phonics Glossary

blend (vb) — to draw individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. s-n-a-p, blended together, reads snap

cluster — two (or three) letters making two (or three) sounds, e.g. the first three letters of 'straight' are a consonant cluster

digraph — two letters making one sound, e.g. sh, ch, th, ph.

vowel digraphs comprise of two vowels which, together, make one sound, e.g. ai, oo, ow

split digraph — two letters, split, making one sound, e.g. a-e as in make or i-e in site

grapheme — a letter or a group of letters representing one sound, e.g. sh, ch, igh, ough (as in 'though')

grapheme-phoneme correspondence (GPC) — the relationship between sounds and the letters which represent those sounds; also known as 'letter-sound correspondences'

mnemonic — a device for memorising and recalling something, such as a snake shaped like the letter 'S'

phoneme — the smallest single identifiable sound, e.g. the letters 'sh' represent just one sound, but 'sp' represents two (/s/ and /p/)

segment (vb) — to split up a word into its individual phonemes in order to spell it, e.g. the word 'cat' has three phonemes: /c/, /a/, /t/

VC, CVC, CCVC — the abbreviations for vowel-consonant, consonant-vowel-consonant, consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant, which are used to describe the order of letters in words, e.g. am, ham, slam.