At Nishkam School West London, children from Reception to Year Two have a 20-minute discrete phonics lesson every day.   We use ‘Letters and Sounds’ from Reception to Year Two.  Reception also use ‘Jolly Phonics.’  The lessons are interactive and fully inclusive, with the whole class kept together.  The expectation is that all children will progress at age-related or above.  Children who are not at age-related have additional intervention sessions in small groups or 1:1. As a result of our approach, we have attained 98% in the phonics screening check for the last two years.


During the discrete phonics sessions, children are:


  • Taught a new phoneme (sound) every day.
  • Taught to read and spell words with the phonemes they have learnt.
  • Taught tricky words that cannot be sounded out to read and spell.
  • Taught to apply their growing knowledge to read and write sentences.


In the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme, there are 6 phases the children progress through until the end of Year Two.  Their progression through the phases are as follows:



Autumn 1


Autumn 2


Spring 1


Spring 2


Summer 1


Summer 2




1st 2 weeks – Phase One  

Phase Two


Phase Three


Phase Four

Phase Two

Year One



Phase Four


Phase Five


Year Two



Phase Six



Every year, we provide parent workshops, so parents can find out more about how we teach phonics, and how they can support their children at home.


There are a number of resources available that would support the teaching of phonics in school: – this is a subscription website and costs £12 per year.


Suggested Apps for iPad

There are a large number of apps available, both for free and at a small cost.

  • Mr Thorne does Phonics (various at £1.49 – £2.99)
  • ABC Pocket Phonics (free)


Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

The statutory Year 1 Phonics Screening Check takes place in June. The check is a list of 40 words which children will read one -to-one with a teacher.  It will assess phonics skills and knowledge learned through Reception and Year 1and ensure that children have learned phonic decoding to an appropriate standard by the age of 6.


It will check that your child can:

  • Sound out and blend graphemesin order to read simple words e.g. n-igh-t
  • Read phonically decodable one-syllable and two-syllable words, e.g. cat, sand, windmill.
  • Read a selection of nonsense words which are referred to as ‘pseudo words’.


The phonics check will help teachers identify the children who need extra help so they can receive the support they need to improve their reading skills. These children will then be able to retake the check in year 2. Parents will be notified if their child has not met the threshold in Year 1 and will have to retake the test in Year 2.