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What is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and efficiently.

Learning phonics helps children to decode words for reading and spell for writing.

Children are taught to recognise the sounds that individual letters make; the sounds that different combinations of letters make; and blending these sounds together from left to right to read whole words.


Our intention is to give children the tools to enable them to decode and spell words quickly and efficiently, so that by the end of year 1 every child has the ability to become a confident and fluent reader.


At Cotham Gardens we follow the Little Wandle for Letters and Sounds programme.

Every child in reception and KS1 receives a daily phonics lesson. We use all the adults in the year groups to support phonics teaching, so your child may work with a range of adults over the year.

Phonics helps children with writing as well as reading. As they move through KS1 and into year 3 the focus shifts onto spelling and grammar.

Phonics is regularly assessed, observed and adjusted to fit the needs of the children, with catch up sessions for those who are falling behind. The books pupils read in Reception, and Year 1 are linked to sounds they are learning and those they need to revise and practice.

For Parents


We are a Power of Reading school and our aim is to nurture confident readers who develop a love of reading. Phonics gives children the building blocks needed to achieve that aim.

Click here to watch a presentation for parents about phonics by our English lead.

Click here to read more detail about the way we teach Phonics and Early Reading at Cotham Gardens.