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The DfE validated phonics scheme that we have chosen to follow is Twinkl Phonics.  This is a comprehensive systematic synthetic phonics programme, which we use to support early reading from Reception. This scheme actively engages our children through stories centred on the adventures of Kit, Sam and the Twinkl family. Each lesson promotes active participation, enabling our pupils to become effective independent readers and writers.

The structure of our lessons always incorporates the following four cornerstones of phonic teaching:


Our lessons are structured into five parts to ensure that these cornerstones are included.


In the Twinkl Scheme, the learning is broken down into levels.  In Reception, the children are taught levels 2 to 4; in Year 1, level 5 and in Year 2, level 6.  Please see below for an outline of each level:



The purpose of Level 2 is to: 

  • teach the first 19 most commonly used letters and the sounds they make. 
  • move children on from oral blending and segmenting to blending and segmenting with letters. 
  • introduce some tricky words for reading. 


The purpose of Level 2 is to:

  • introduce another 25 graphemes, including consonant diagraphs, vowel digraphs and trigraphs so that children can represent 42 phonemes with a grapheme. 
  • continue to practice CVC blending and segmentation. 
  • apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions. 


The purpose of Level 4 is to: 

  • consolidate children’s knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words, especially trigraphs and digraphs. 
  • introduce words with adjacent consonants CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC, CCCVC, CVCCC, CCCVCC, CCVCCC. 
  • learn polysyllabic words and to learn and to spell some more tricky words.


The purpose of Level 5 is to: 

  • learn alternative graphemes for known phonemes. 
  • learn alternative pronunciations of known graphemes. 
  • introduce split digraphs. 
  • introduce suffixes and prefixes. 
  • learn to read and spell more common exception words. 


The purpose of Level 6 is to: 

  • develop children’s knowledge of spelling patterns and best guess grapheme selection. 
  • learn more alternative graphemes for known phonemes. 
  • learn more alternative pronunciations for known graphemes. 
  • introduce the /zh/ phoneme.
  • develop and understanding of the spelling rules for adding suffixes and prefixes. 
  • introduce homophones/near homophones and contractions. 
  • learn to spell more common exception words. 
  • develop their understanding of grammar rules. 
  • learn effective writing techniques including editing and proof reading and learn more strategies to read and write independently.


Phoneme - smallest unit of sound in a word. 

Grapheme - symbol of a phoneme. This can be one letter or a group of letters e.g.    i    ie   igh   i_e

Grapheme-Phoneme-Correspondence (GPC) - the relationship between sounds and the letter or letters that represent the sounds. 

Blending - building up of words from individual phonemes (sounds) to whole words. 

Segmenting - breaking down words into individual phonemes (sounds). 

Tricky words (common exception words) - words that are not decodable (see helpful documents). 

Digraph - two letters that make one sound. 

Trigraph - three letters that make one sound. 

Mnemonic - an illustration that is designed to support children’s recognition of GPCs.

The following two slides give more information on the skills of segmenting and blending – essential skills in the teaching and learning of phonics.


Rhino Readers are books that are aligned with our Twinkl Phonics scheme. Each book is matched to the level in which your child is currently learning. This means that they will only meet the sounds and tricky words that they have already been taught. Each book is split into three parts:

  • Before Reading -these pages include sounds that will appear in the book, focus words and tricky words. 
  • The Story itself 
  • After Reading - these pages include a comprehension-based activity to go alongside the book. This checks understanding of what has been read.