Glemsford Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 2PN

01449 613112

Combs Ford Primary School

Welcome to Combs Ford Primary School


At Combs Ford Primary School we believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning upon which children can develop into fluent readers and confident writers. 

The progression of phonics at Combs Ford Primary School is currently based on the principles of the Letters and Sounds document, however our own detailed plans, based upon this, have been written to ensure high quality teaching throughout EYFS and Key Stage 1. 


Through the teaching of phonics our pupils are taught the essential skills needed for early reading and writing. Our phonics teaching is systematic, follows a synthetic approach (first the children are taught the letter sounds and then it builds up to blending the sounds together to read whole words), repetitive yet engaging and interactive.  Each phonics lesson includes the following elements; revisit, teach, practise and apply.  We build in regular opportunities for assessment to inform planning and to enable staff to identify any children falling behind so they can be given targeted support.


Reception children begin the year by focusing on Phase 1.  This ensures that the children are able to listen to and identify sounds around them and begin to develop oral blending and segmenting skills before learning any grapheme phoneme correspondences (GPCs).  Once the children have mastered these skills, they are ready to move on to Phase 2, where they learn the first 23 GPCs and segmenting and blending skills to decode words.  Please click here to watch a video which demonstrates how to pronounce the phonemes correctly.  (Please note this links to an external site.)


Once the children are ready they are sent home with a fully decodable reading book. Please see the video and BBC Bitesize article for more details of how to help your child with reading at home.  (Please note these are links to external sites.)

Mr Thorne's Top 10 Tips

BBC Bitesize article


In the spring term they move onto Phase 3, learning the next 27 GPCs.  Once the children have a secure knowledge of Phase 2 and 3 GPCs and are able to apply these GPCs to decoding and blending words the children then move onto Phase 4 when ready in the summer term.


In Year One the children move through Phase 4 and 5, ensuring that they master alternative GPCs and become confident in decoding longer words, in preparation for the Phonics Screening Check in June, as well as making confident phonetic spelling tries for unknown words.  

In Year Two the children work through Phase 6 in conjunction with the National Curriculum Spelling Appendix 2 becoming confident in applying spelling rules under the umbrella of SPaG.


Phonics is taught daily in Reception and currently four days a week in Year One.  Year Two have four SPaG lessons per week.  


We have worked hard to ensure consistency of planning and resources throughout Reception and Key Stage One and we have written our own handwriting rhymes to link with the mnemonics that we use.  


Some children require additional teaching to become confident with their phonics understanding after Year 2.  These children are supported on an individual basis to ensure that they are able to apply their phonological knowledge when they read and write.


Resources to download to help:

Handwriting rhymes

Super Writer Mat

Ideas to help with reading