Children learn phonics, using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme. ‘Letters and Sounds’ is split into six phases:

  • Phase 1, which is usually taught in nursery, concentrates on environmental sounds.
  • Phase 2 is based around initial sounds, and is taught in the reception class.
  • Phase 3 is about learning digraphs, tricky words and reading captions.
  • Phases 4-6 are taught in Years 1 and 2, although those children who are ready can move into these phases earlier.

The children are encouraged to use the skills taught in ‘Letters and Sounds’ in other lessons and free choice reading. Children are assessed regularly to make sure they are ready for the next phase. More information on Letters and Sounds can be found by searching ‘Letters and Sounds’ on Google.

Younger pupils learn phonics well.  Across the primary phase, teachers do a good joy of teaching pupils to read.  They match books carefully to pupils’ needs.  Pupils learn to read fluently, and enjoy reading different types of books from the well-stocked library.

Ofsted, 2020


SPAG stands for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar – even English university professors have had trouble with the 7 most difficult questions in a SATs test, but our children at Iceni, Hockwold, have always been brilliant at it! We give weekly spelling tests, making sure that the children understand how to use each word in context, and we spend 20 minutes each day between 9.10 and 9.30am working on the different types of punctuation and grammar the children are expected to know at each stage. The all-important thing is that our pupils not only know how to use their SPAG in their tests but are also using it naturally in their own writing across all subjects.

Reading Schemes

A range of reading schemes are used at the primary site which include ‘alphablocks’ (linked to the Letters and Sounds phase).  All schemes are levelled, so children go through Phonics Bug phases, Project X, Pocket Tales and Rapid Readers; once the pupils have gone through the levels they become free readers.