Welcome to Harlands Community

Primary & Nursery School


Our Philosophy

We believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. We teach reading through a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Nursery/Reception and follow a progression of sounds, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.

We value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.

Digital Leaders Phonics Video - Learn Phonics

Phonics is a fundamental building block for reading and writing. Phonics lays the foundation for fluency and accuracy in reading. As children become adept at decoding words, they can focus on comprehension and enjoyment of reading. 

Our digital leaders have been busy recording all the phonics actions and sounds that we use at Harlands.

This is a great resouce to help parents and children lern the phonics sounds and actions.

Find out more about our Digital Leaders here

Our Approach

Our teaching of phonics follows a multisensory approach that incorporates visual, auditory and kinaesthetic cues. This takes the form of a mnemonic, an action and song for each phoneme. This consistent approach allows children to access phonics in a variety of ways and embed their understanding. Children also learn to form letters through formation phrases linked to the mnemonic.

Stories are used to provide a stimulus and context for phonics lessons and enable children to practise 'The Four Cornerstones of Phonics': rapid recall of GPCS, segmenting, blending and recalling tricky/common exception words. The structure of our phonics approach ensures children are able to build upon their prior knowledge providing progression and continuity between year groups.

We have a strong focus on language development for our children through the use of pronunciation phrases where needed because we know that speaking, including the pronunciation of sounds, and listening are crucial skills for reading, writing and communication in all subjects. 

Through regular assessment of phonemes, children read decodable books that are matched to their stage of development and are swiftly moved on when they are secure. 

Phonics Level Overviews

Level 1 Phonics - Nursery

Level 1 concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Level 2. The emphasis during Level 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.  

The activities introduced in Level 1 are intended to continue throughout the following phases, as lots of practise is needed before children will become confident in their phonic knowledge and skills.

Phase 1 is divided into seven aspects:

Level 2 Phonics - Reception

Children will be taught the first 19 most commonly used letters and the sounds they make. They move on from just oral blending and segmenting to blending and segmenting with letters. Children will also be introduced to some tricky words for reading.

During Phase 2, letters and their sounds are taught in the following order:

By the end of Level 2, children will have had the opportunities to:

Level 3 Phonics - Reception

During Level 3, children are introduced to another 25 graphemes including consonant digraphs (two consonants making one sound like ch), vowel digraphs (two vowels making one sounds like ai) and trigraphs (three letters making one sound like igh) so that they can represent 42 phonemes with a grapheme. 

Children continue to segment and blend CVC words and apply their knowledge to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions.

During Level 3, letters and their sounds are taught in the following order:

By the end of Level 3, children will have had the opportunities to:

Level 4 Phonics - Reception

During Level, 4 no new graphemes are introduced. The main aim of this level is to consolidate the children’s knowledge in learning to read and spell words with adjacent consonants e.g. trap, string, milk. Children also learn polysyllabic words and learn to read and spell more tricky words.

By the end of Level 3, children will have had the opportunities to:

Level 5 - Year 1

Children are introduced to alternative spellings for phonemes throughout the year. E.g. they already know ‘ai’ as in rain from Level 3 but will now also be introduced to ‘ay’ as in crayon and ‘a-e’ as in make.

They also learn alternative pronunciations for graphemes e.g. ‘ea’ as in tea, head and break as well as being introduced to prefixes and suffixes.

By the end of Level 5, children will have had the opportunities to:

Level 6 - Year 2

During Level 6, children will continue to learn more alternative graphemes for known phonemes as well as alternative pronunciations for known graphemes. There also is also a focus developing children's knowledge of spelling patterns and best-guess grapheme selection. Furthermore, children are introduced to homophones/near homophones (words that sound the same but are spelt differently), contractions (could not --> couldn't ) and begin to understand different grammar rules.

By the end of Level 6, children will have had the opportunities to:


Our Keywords are a system that allows children to learn tricky words and the Year 1/2 common exception words from the National Curriculum at home alongside learning them in phonics lessons. Children take home a set of words at their level and progress through the sets.  These are checked weekly so that children move on quickly once they are secure. Once children have reached the end of the sets for reading, they begin them for spelling.


Below are a selection of resources that can be used at home.

Phonics Play 

This website uses games to support children's understanding of phonics from all levels including pseudo words to support the Year 1 Phonics Check.

Mr Thorne Does Phonics 

Mr Thorne along with Geraldine the Giraffe explore different phonemes and recap knowledge from Levels 2-5.

Spelling Play

This website provides games and activities linked to spelling patterns and punctuation for reading and writing within the Year 2 curriculum.

twinkl phonics.pdf