Lowton Junior & Infant School

Phonics and Early Reading

At Lowton J and I School we teach phonics in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 through the Twinkl Phonics programme.

The Twinkl Phonics programme is for primary school children learning to read. It enables every child to become a confident and fluent reader whilst nurturing a love of both reading and writing.


What is Phonics?

  • Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching reading and writing in which words are broken up into their smallest units of sound or ‘phonemes’.
  • Children learn to associate a written letter or group of letters, known as ‘graphemes’, with each phoneme.
  • Sounds are then joined or ‘blended’ together into words for reading or, conversely, whole words are broken down or ‘segmented’ into their sounds for writing.
  • It is the UK’s most preferred method of teaching phonics.
  • Sounds are taught in a prescribed order starting with s, a, t, p, i, n, as this allows for the most words to be made from the start. Such as ‘sat,’ ‘tap’ and ‘pin.’


Here is some of the terminology that you might hear as your child begins to learn phonics.

Phoneme – the smallest unit of sounds in a word

Grapheme – the written representation of a sound

GPC (Grapheme-Phoneme Correspondence) – being able to match a phoneme with the correct grapheme and visa versa

Blending – joining individual spoken sounds together to make a word

Segmenting – breaking down words into individual sounds

Diagraph – two letters that make one sound, e.g. ‘sh’ in the word sh-i-p

Trigraph – three letters that make one sound, eg. ‘igh’ in the word h-igh

Split diagraph – two letters making one sound which are divided by a consonant, eg. the i_e sound in the word side

Common Exception Words – often refered to as ‘Tricky Words’, words that are not fully decodable such as ‘the’ and ‘was’

How and what will my child learn?

The Twinkl Phonics programme is split over 6 levels. The learning from Twinkl Phonics Level 1 is typically taught within nursery settings and therefore when children start school in Reception they will begin from Twinkl Phonics Level 2. The images below give an outline of the learning that takes place within each level of the programme. 

To continue their learning, children will bring home a Rhino Reader. Rhino Readers books keep the focus on phonics, with clear progression and support for children’s early decoding skills as they move through each level. This method ensures children only read the sounds and tricky words they’ve already learnt. Each book contains information and supportive notes for parents, enabling them to fully support their child when reading at home.

More information about supporting your child with reading at home as they progress throughout school can be found on the ‘Reading at Home’ page of our school website.


Useful Documents 

An introduction to Twinkl phonics

Letter formation rhymes

Phonics and Early Reading Policy

Newton Road, Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 2AW