At St Charles, we follow the Essential Letters and Sounds expectations of progress: (See our Reading Policy for more details)

  • Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
  • Children in Year 1 review Phase 2, 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.
  • Throughout both year groups, children are exposed to the Harder to Read and Spell Words (Common Exception Words) and spelling patterns.


Essential Letters and Sounds teaches children to read using a validated systematic synthetic phonics approach. This scheme is designed to be rich in talk and story where our pupils can experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills to become fluent independent readers and writers.

This scheme teaches our children to decode by identifying each sound within a word and blending them together to read fluently; and encode by segmenting each sound to write words accurately.

Useful Links:

Please clink the links below to support your child’s phonic learning at home.


Essential Letters and Sounds Website:


Phonics Play:


Oxford Owl:


Top Marks: