Message sent from:

Phonics and early reading and writing


The four cornerstone of phonics


There are four key elements that children need to master in order to read and write fluently.

  • Rapid recall of GPCs
  • Rapid recall of tricky/common exception words
  • Efficient blending skills
  • Efficient segmenting skills

The four skills represent the cornerstones of phonics and must be practised everyday to ensure children make the expected progress.



The Twinkl Phonics Programme offers a coherently planned sequence of lessons that supports the effective teaching of phonics within EYFS, KS1 and, where appropriate, KS2.

phonics 1

In reception, children work within Levels 2-4. Here learners are introduced to phonemes/sounds and graphemes/letters systematically. They also learn to develop and apply blending and segmenting skills for reading and writing.


Within KS1, children work within Levels 5 and 6. The coherently planned sequence of lessons within Level 5 allows opportunities for children to apply their phonics knowledge and skills as the prime approach to reading and spelling. It focuses on phonetically decodable two-syllable and three-syllable words and the alternative ways of pronouncing and representing the long vowel phonemes. Furthermore, children will develop their ability to attempt to read and spell increasingly complex words.


By Level 6, children explore spelling patterns and grammar while also developing a breadth of knowledge, skills and understanding in the recognition and spelling of common exception words. The Twinkl Phonics Programme intends to not only provide children with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding essential for reading and writing, but also, to develop each child’s confidence, resilience and engagement in phonics lessons and a love for reading and writing.




The Twinkl Phonics Progression Map sets clear expectations for pupil’s progress within the Twinkl Phonics Programme. The tracking document attached allows headteachers, senior leaders, teachers and practitioners to track pupil’s progress. It provides opportunities for data analysis and encourages discussions around pupil progress, group progress, future learning and misconceptions, enabling schools to respond and adapt teaching within the programme to provide additional support and challenge to pupils. The dynamic and engaging materials delivered in the daily planning packs within Levels 2-6 ensure a clearly defined structure to the teaching of phonics.


Younger children enjoy consistency of approach in their phonics lessons and to know what is coming next. Therefore, similar activities will be used. This helps to build their confidence with phonics learning. Older children may enjoy more variety in approach and a wider range of activities. This helps them to see phonics as part of the wider curriculum and understand that the skills taught in phonics lessons can be applied in all aspects of learning. However, for all children, it is important that the structure and routine of our phonics lessons covers the four cornerstones of phonics every day.


The structure of every phonics lesson follows this five-part pattern to ensure that the four cornerstones of phonics are covered:

phonics 2

The direct teacher-led lessons enable all learners to develop and apply new skills while also providing opportunities to further apply these skills within fun and engaging activities and through continuous provision. The teaching PowerPoints, stories, games, additional texts and toolkits are planned to allow children to apply and practise phonics skills. They also offer opportunities to challenge learners and provide support to teachers and parents. Teacher guides for each stage allow teachers and adults working with children to feel confident in their own subject knowledge, knowing they are fulfilling the national phonics criteria and enabling each child to achieve their potential.


In order to apply their decoding and comprehension reading skills, it is important that children have plenty of opportunities to read texts that are fully decodable at the phonics level they are working. Children should be reading take-home books at 90% fluency and should not be reading texts that are too easy or beyond their phonics level or understanding. Decodable texts should only contain the sounds and tricky (common exception) words that the children know, to allow them to read with fluency and confidence while applying their developing skills effectively.

Rhino Readers is the Twinkl reading scheme that follows the adventures of the same two characters from Twinkl Phonics, Kit and Sam, in a series of fully decodable reading scheme books that are fully aligned with the Twinkl Phonics scheme. It also has a range of non-fiction books, playscripts, instruction books and quiz books! Using Rhino Readers, children can apply their phonics learning to guided or home reading, using only the sounds and words that they have been taught.


If, through assessment and observation, a child is working below age-related expectations and would benefit from a phonics intervention programme, the first level of support would be with the 1:1 Same Day Interventions. If further support is needed, we will use either the KS1 Intervention Packs, or in KS2, the Twinkl Codebreakers intervention programme, specifically designed for KS2 pupils to close the gap and develop essential reading and writing skills. Both are specifically tailored to the needs of each key stage and designed to move children on to the next stage in their learning.




The impact of using our complete Twinkl Phonics Programme as the basis of your phonics teaching within EYFS and KS1, will be for children to develop their phonics skills and knowledge through a systematic, synthetic approach, while covering the statutory requirements outlined in the 2014 National Curriculum. The programme will prepare children for the statutory year 1 phonics screening check. Following the programme gives St Botolphs a consistent approach to phonics.


Formative assessments ensure learners have a broad understanding of a range of sounds and phonic concepts. These assessments not only tell us what children can do or what they know, they also outline those sounds and concepts some learners may need to revisit or practise further.


Assessing in Reception & KS1 In reception, year 1 and year 2: children will be assessed on their knowledge of GPCs and common exception words to establish each child’s phonic level. Blending and segmenting assessments will also be used to ensure that children have the skills securely in place for reading and spelling.


Regular assessment is vital to ensure the early identification of children who may need us to provide them with extra support, either through interventions or during the daily classroom teaching.


Regular assessment is also vital to ensuring the early identification of children who may need us to challenge them further, either through extension activities or during daily classroom teaching. These steps can help you provide appropriate extension and challenge for faster learners.

Hit enter to search