What Phonics Is Taught In Key Stage One?

Written by Dan

Last updated

Have you ever wondered how your child is learning to read and write at school? What mysterious techniques are being used to unlock the world of words for them? The answer lies in a method called ‘Phonics.’

In this guide, we will delve into the fascinating world of Phonics, specifically focusing on what is taught during Key Stage One.

We’ll cover the basics, explore some examples, and even provide some handy tips on how you can support your child’s learning at home.

It’s all part of our commitment to keeping you informed and involved in your child’s educational journey.

Understanding Phonics

What exactly is Phonics? If you’ve ever asked this question, you’re not alone. Phonics, in its simplest form, is a method used in teaching reading and writing of the English language.

It involves connecting the sounds of spoken English with letters or groups of letters (for instance, the sound “k” can be represented by “c,” “k,” or “ck”).

Now, how does Phonics work in teaching reading and writing? Imagine a child encountering the word “cat” for the first time.

With the help of Phonics, they learn to recognize the individual sounds in the word (c-a-t), associate each sound with its corresponding letter, and finally blend these sounds together to read the word “cat”.

The same principle applies when they write. They break down the word into its constituent sounds and write down the letters associated with each sound.

The benefits of Phonics in a child’s literacy development are plentiful. Not only does it provide them with a systematic approach to reading and writing, but it also builds a strong foundation for their future learning.

It improves their pronunciation, spelling, and comprehension skills. Moreover, as they become more proficient, they gain confidence, fostering a love for reading and writing that can last a lifetime.

So, while Phonics might seem like a small piece of the puzzle, it’s an essential part of setting children up for success in their literacy journey.


Phonics in Key Stage One

Have you ever wondered about the significance of Key Stage One in your child’s educational journey?

The answer is quite enlightening. Key Stage One, which typically covers ages 5 to 7, is a pivotal period in a child’s education.

It’s during these formative years that foundational skills in reading and writing are established, setting the groundwork for all future learning.

During Key Stage One, Phonics takes center stage in developing these skills. Let’s take a closer look at some of the specific Phonics skills your child will be mastering during this stage:

  1. Letter-Sound Correspondence: Children learn to associate specific sounds with their corresponding letters or groups of letters. For instance, they learn that the sound “b” is represented by the letter “b”.
  2. Blending Sounds: This skill is crucial for reading. Children learn to blend individual sounds together to form words. For example, they learn that combining the sounds “c-a-t” makes the word “cat”.
  3. Segmenting Words into Sounds: This is essential for spelling and writing. Children learn to break down words into their constituent sounds. So, “dog” would be segmented into “d-o-g”.
  4. Reading Common Exception Words: These are words that don’t follow the usual Phonics rules. Examples include “said”, “one”, and “the”. Children learn to recognize and read these words on sight.

To illustrate, imagine your child encountering the word “ship”. Using their Phonics skills, they recognize the individual sounds “sh-i-p”, blend them together, and voila!

They’ve just read the word “ship”. When it comes to writing, they reverse the process. They segment the word “ship” into its sounds and write down the corresponding letters.

The beauty of Phonics in Key Stage One lies in its structured yet flexible approach. It allows children to make sense of the English language, transforming seemingly random letters and sounds into meaningful words.

And as they become more proficient, you’ll see their confidence soar, their reading fluency improve, and their love for learning grow.

Truly, Phonics is key in unlocking the world of literacy for your child!

Supporting Your Child’s Learning at Home

Have you ever pondered the power of your role as a parent in your child’s learning journey?

Regarding education, parental involvement is not just beneficial — it’s essential. Numerous studies underscore the profound impact that parental involvement can have on a child’s educational outcomes.

When parents actively engage in their child’s education, it can enhance academic performance, foster positive attitudes and behaviors, and even promote healthy habits.

So, how can you, as a parent, support your child’s Phonics learning at home? Here are some practical tips:

  1. Create a Reading Environment: Surround your child with a variety of reading materials. Books, magazines, newspapers, and even recipes can provide ample opportunities for your child to practice their Phonics skills.
  2. Play Sound Games: Make learning fun by incorporating sound games into your daily routine. For instance, ask your child to identify the beginning sound of different objects around the house.
  3. Use Educational Apps: Leverage technology to make Phonics learning interactive and engaging. There are numerous educational apps available that can help reinforce Phonics concepts in a fun way.
  4. Read Together: Regularly read with your child. This not only helps them practice their Phonics skills but also fosters a love for reading. Ask them to point out words they recognize or decode new words using their Phonics knowledge.
  5. Celebrate Progress: Always acknowledge your child’s efforts and celebrate their progress, no matter how small. This boosts their confidence and motivates them to keep learning.

The beauty of these activities is that they can be seamlessly incorporated into your daily routines, making learning a natural part of your child’s day.

Remember, your involvement in your child’s learning process is invaluable.

By supporting their Phonics learning at home, you’re not just teaching them to read and write — you’re helping them unlock a world of possibilities.


As we draw this enlightening journey to a close, let’s take a moment to reflect on the key points we’ve navigated through.

We began by understanding the invaluable role of Phonics in Key Stage One, a pivotal period in your child’s educational journey.

This stage lays the foundation for a strong reading and writing ability, with Phonics playing a starring role.

We then delved into the specific Phonics skills that are taught during this stage, including letter-sound correspondence, blending sounds, segmenting words into sounds, and reading common exception words. With practical examples, we saw how these skills enable children to read and write effectively.

Next, we underscored the power of parental involvement in a child’s learning process. We explored practical strategies that you, as a parent, can adopt to support your child’s Phonics learning at home.

From creating a reading environment and playing sound games, to leveraging educational apps, reading together, and celebrating progress — each tip is designed to make learning an engaging and enjoyable experience for your child.

Remember, your role in your child’s education journey is not just important, it’s indispensable. Your consistent support and encouragement can make a world of difference in their literacy learning.

So, dive in, engage, and explore the exciting world of Phonics with your child.

And finally, let’s end on this note: Believe in yourself as much as you believe in your child. You can guide your child towards literacy success. After all, every child’s first teacher is their parent.

So, here’s to you — the parents who are helping their children unlock a world of possibilities through the power of Phonics! Let’s continue this rewarding journey together, one sound at a time.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Phonics for Key Stage 1?

Phonics for Key Stage 1 refers to the systematic teaching of sounds (phonemes) and the letters (graphemes) that represent them. During this stage, children learn to recognize letter-sound correspondences, blend sounds to read words, segment words into sounds for spelling, and read common exception words.

2. What is Key Stage Phonics?

Key Stage Phonics is a method used in UK schools during the early years (Key Stage 1 and 2) to teach reading and writing. It involves teaching children the sounds made by individual letters and groups of letters (like ‘sh’ or ‘oo’), and how to match these to written letters.

3. What Phonics is taught in Year 1?

In Year 1, children are taught to recognize all 44 phonemes in the English language, including both single letter sounds (like ‘a’ and ‘t’) and digraphs (two letters that make one sound like ‘sh’ and ‘ch’). They also learn to read and write words using these sounds and to identify syllables in longer words.

4. Is Phonics taught in EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage)?

Yes, Phonics is introduced in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) as a primary method of teaching children to read and write. Children start by learning simple letter sounds, and gradually progress to blending sounds together to read words and breaking down words into sounds for spelling.

5. How can parents support Phonics learning at home?

Parents can support Phonics learning at home by creating a reading environment, playing sound games, leveraging educational apps, reading together with their child, and celebrating their child’s progress. These activities can help reinforce the Phonics skills being taught in school and make learning more fun and engaging.

6. Why is parental involvement important in a child’s learning process?

Parental involvement is crucial as it can enhance a child’s educational outcomes. Active parental engagement can boost academic performance, foster positive attitudes and behaviors, and promote healthy habits. By supporting their child’s Phonics learning at home, parents are helping them unlock a world of possibilities.

7. What are some examples of Phonics activities I can do with my child at home?

Some examples of Phonics activities you can do at home include reading books together, playing sound matching games, using flashcards to practice letter-sound correspondence, and using educational apps that reinforce Phonics concepts in a fun and interactive way.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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