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English at Thorpe

English at Thorpe Church of England Primary School

Phonics across the school

At Thorpe, English for your child begins with the phonics teaching programme; Letters and Sounds.

Phase One comprises of 7 Aspects starting from the discrimination between sounds, such as environmental sounds, instruments, body percussion and moving onto alliteration, rhyming, voice sounds and oral blending and segmenting. For e.g. can you put on your c – oa – t? Please put this in the b – i – n for me.

Phases Two to Six introduces letter shapes, their sounds and alternative graphemes that make the same sound. For e.g. the sound oa in foal can also be spelt ow as in bowl, oe as in toe.

Phase Two begins the child’s journey learning the alphabet as we know it, but focuses on the sound of each letter ‘a’ rather than the name ‘ay’. An intensive and rapid programme begins where children learn letter sounds and their combinations to spell and write words.

Phonics in school

In Reception Letters and Sounds accompanies another successful Literacy Scheme called Jolly Phonics. Together they provide a multisensory approach to learning letter sounds and writing.

In Reception (Sapphire Class) the majority of the children work towards completing Phase 3 and, by the end of the year, should be able to read some vowel-consonant words (at, in, on) and consonant-vowel-consonant words (cat, pin, log). We also expect the children to begin spelling with magnetic letters or being able to write simple words. They will also have been taught some High Frequency ‘Tricky Words’ words such as I, the, to, go (words which cannot be sounded out and just need to be looked at and remembered).

Of course some children will be working within Phase 4.

In Year One (Emerald Class), children consolidate their knowledge of alternative spellings of sounds through writing, spelling and reading longer words. We expect the children to have completed Phases 3 to 5 and some will be working beyond into Phase 6. 

In Year Two (Ruby Class), children learn past tense spellings, suffixes and spell longer words. They work towards becoming fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers. 

Alongside the phonics programme we use the Primary National Strategy for Literacy and teach a range of genres such as poetry, fiction and non-fiction writing. 


The handwriting script we teach is an adapted version of the ‘Kingston Cursive’ font. This script lends itself well to joined up writing as they become more proficient writers. 

We predominantly use Oxford Reading Tree but do intermingle the books with other reading schemes that incorporate various genres.

In Sapphire class our aim is to hear a child read twice during a normal week. 

In Emerald and Ruby Class, each Guided Reading Group gets heard twice a week once by the teacher and once by the Teaching Assistant. 

Story Sacks

To further extend your child’s Literacy Skills, Thorpe operates a lending system of Story sacks. With your support, your child can retell the story, use features of a non fiction book to find out information, make up an alternative ending and improve their comprehension of a story by sequencing and talking about the events. 

A different Storysack is used every Thursday during Collective Worship with the whole school.

Inside the sack there can be:

  • A story book
  • A game related to the story
  • A non fiction book linked to the story
  • And sometimes characters and props to help tell the story 

Approximately every 7 weeks your child will take home a Storysack to explore for a week. 

English at home 

Please don’t forget to share books together at home, repeat favourite books, be relaxed and make reading fun. 

Make English learning at home;

  • Purposeful
  • Fun
  • Frequent
  • A sharing experience

Visit Sparklebox and search for "High Frequency word cards",  Phase 3 and phase 5 sound mat

English Subject Leader