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Lakeside Primary School

Hatherley Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 6HR

Proud to be part of the Lakeside Community  »  The Lakeside Curriculum  »  English Curriculum (Including Phonics)

Welcome to our English Curriculum

At Lakeside our aim is for all children to leave us with the right tools and skills ready to start their new phase of learning in secondary school. In addition, we endeavour to instil a love of reading and writing in our children which will stay with them through all phases of their lives. We do this by following the National Curriculum (NC) for English – speaking and listening, reading and writing - through a creative approach which is underpinned by experiences and purpose. 

For skills progression in reading and writing from Y1 – Y6 we follow the National Curriculum. We teach writing skills as specified by the National Curriculum and follow the guidelines for age related content. Our outcomes for writing are purpose-led, linked to themes and are framed by four key principles: to entertain, to inform, to discuss and to persuade, and spelling and grammar skills are threaded through following our own year group-specific programmes of study.


At Lakeside Primary School we follow the Letters and Sounds principles and practice of high quality phonics (Primary National Strategy 2007). This is supported by Floppy’s Phonics, Jolly Phonics and any other additional resources the class teacher sees fit to cater for specific children’s needs (to be approved, agreed and used by all teachers across a phase for consistency in teaching and learning). The teaching of phonics at Lakeside is multisensory; the children use all their senses to learn each new sound e.g. by singing, dancing, acting, making shapes in the air, using computers, playing games and using tactile manipulatives. This ensures all learning styles are catered for and the children enjoy their phonics lessons.

The six-phases of the Letters and Sounds document provides a structure for teachers from which teachers plan for children’s progression. The boundaries between the phases are not fixed, allowing teachers to plan across the phases depending on the individual class needs. Teachers’ assessment of individual children will inform the rate at which their children are able to progress through the phases.

In the Autumn Term, Reception will introduce and complete Phase 2 and Phase 3, and depending upon the nature of each cohort, they will aim to briefly introduce Phase 4 in the final half of the summer term. The children in Reception will have discrete phonics teaching input daily by teachers and practitioners. The sessions last from fifteen to twenty-five minutes. The classroom environments facilitate opportunities for the children to independently explore, practise and consolidate their phonics learning throughout the school day.


In the first half of the Autumn term Year 1 will revise Phase 3 to ensure that previous learning is consolidated and embedded before moving on to Phase 4 and Phase 5.

It is important that the five phases are embedded and the children have a solid understanding of the key knowledge and skills before the final sixth phase is introduced in Year 2. Year 2 teachers will, accounting for variation according to need, expose all children to the key elements of phase 6 by the end of the academic year.

Discrete daily teaching of 15-25 minutes will continue in Key Stage 1 as follows:

  • Year 1 will revise Phase 3 and introduce Phase 4 and Phase 5
  • Year 2 will revise Phase 5 and introduce Phase 6


At Lakeside, early readers will be taught:

  • grapheme–phoneme correspondences in a clearly defined, incremental sequence
  • to apply the skill of blending (synthesising) phonemes in order to read words
  • to apply the skills of segmenting words into their constituent phonemes in order to develop spelling skills
  • that blending and segmenting are reversible processes.

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