At Mexborough St John, we aim to provide a high quality reading and phonics curriculum which will allow pupils to read fluently, with understanding and enjoyment so they are ready for the next stage of their education by the time they leave primary school.
Our curriculum is consistent throughout school, within phonic learning and early reading lessons included daily from FS1 through to those who need it in Year 6 in order for each child to reach their full potential and ensure than reading is as little a barrier to life and learning is possible. We promote a love and joy for reading, with each class being able to enjoy books daily in their classrooms either by listening to class texts or enjoying books from their classroom reading area.


At our school we follow Little Wandle: Letters and Sounds revised throughout the school. Lessons are taught daily from foundation stage to year one and continues into year 2 and throughout for any child who needs it. 

This involves daily sessions of learning and embedding graphemes and common exception words as well as three reading practise sessions a week focussing on applying their phonic knowledge by decoding books, practising prosidy and checking their understanding with a comprehension session to end the book. These books will then be available to be accessed as an e-book at home.

F2 (Reception)

In FS2, children begin learning phase 2 sounds and tricky words in Autumn term. Each sound has a corresponding picture to aid them to remember the sound on sight as well as how to form each letter.

The order the children learn sounds and their corresponding pictures are as follows:

Autumn 1

Autumn 2


In spring term, children begin learning phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs, all of which have a corresponding picture and catchphrase. 


In summer term, children learn Phase 4 which are words including adjacent consonants, for example 'skip', 'bench', 'strong' etc. as well as words including suffixes including -ed, -ing, -est rather than CVC words that children have previously had a main focus on. 

Tricky words: 

said, so, have, like, some, come, love, do, were, here, little, says, there, when, what, one, out, today


In Year One, children undertake the 'phonics screening' test in the Summer term. They begin the year by recapping what they have learned in all previous phases before moving on to phase 5. 

Phase 5 phonics are mostly all the alternative ways to read sounds they have already learned and in this phase we 'grow the code'. 


Tricky words:

is, I, the

Tricky words:

as, and, has, his, her, go, no, to, into, she, he, of, we, me, be

Tricky words:

was, you, they, my, by, all, are, sure, pure


Our vision for phonics and early reading:

"Reading is the gateway for children that makes all other learning possible."
Barack Obama