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St Mark's Primary School

Phonics Support



Phonics Phrases

"For each of the Grapheme Phoneme Correspondences in Success for All Phonics we teach children a short alliterative phrase to help them to remember it, e.g. for ‘s’ we have ‘The snake slides and slithers.’ If your child is having difficulty in remembering a GPC, reminding them of the alliterative phrase might help. We also have helpful video guidance for this that can be viewed here."


Letter Formation Cues

"When children learn to write lower case letters in the correct way, we use a short rhyme to help them remember how they should do this, e.g. for ‘s’ this is ‘Left around, right around, from head to tail.’ We want children to form their letters in the correct way as early as possible and prevent them from developing poor letter writing habits that will need to be corrected later."

Click HERE for the alliterative phrases and letter writing cues


Reception Class

Phase 2 – Reception (Term 1)

Children learn the short sounds and use these to read CVC words. A limited number of Common Exception Words (CEWs) are introduced in the context of the Shared Readers, and children practise writing new and previously learnt sounds in upper-case and lower-case letters.


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      Set 6 - j, v, w       Set 7 - x, y, z


Phase 3 – Reception (Terms 2 and 3)

Children learn consonant digraphs and long vowel digraphs and read CCVC and CVCC words. Children are introduced to two-syllable words. Spelling and sentence writing with known sounds are introduced. Common alternative spellings / pronunciations are introduced.


Consonant digraphs – zz, qu, ch, sh, th, ng

Vowel digraphs – ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er 


Phase 4 – Reception (Term 3)

Focuses on reviewing and consolidating all Reception-level content in preparation for Year 1. Decoding skills are applied to more challenging word structures.



Year One

Phase 5 – Year 1 (Terms 1 to 3)


Teaches remaining long vowels, including split digraphs.


ay, ou, ie, ea, oy, ir, ue, aw, ew


a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e, -y, ow, soft c, soft g


ire, are, tch, oe, ph


Children learn to read nonsense words along with CCVCC, CCCVC and CCCVCC words. All Key Stage 1 CEWs are taught and reviewed, and children learn the spelling and grammar conventions from the Year 1 NC.


Phase 6 – Year 1 (Term 3)


Focuses on reviewing and consolidating all Year 1-level content.