An introduction to Storytime Phonics


Storytime Phonics is a multi-sensory, engaging and dynamic approach to teaching and learning phonics, based on the Letters and Sounds DfE Framework.

Children begin the Storytime Phonics programme at the start of Reception year after the baseline assessments are complete, and continue across Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2). Every child between Reception and Year 2 has a 15-30 minute phonics session every morning.

The Storytime Phonics programme is separated into six Phases - your child's teacher will be able to tell you which Phase your child is currently working on. If you require any further support, please come into school and speak with your child's class teacher.

There are 26 letters in the alphabet, but they make 44 different sounds. These sounds are known as ‘phonemes’. We are often asked how each phoneme is pronounced. The link below will enable you to hear the pronunciation of each sound. 

Each  phoneme is introduced through a popular child’s fiction book to contextualise the sounds children are learning – for example the phoneme ‘p’ is taught through the book ‘Pirate Pete’ by Nick Sharratt.

Each week The Phonics Fairy delivers the special books to us in a lovely bag sprinkled with her fairy glitter. We take our learning all around the school; from searching for ‘sharks in the park’ in our outdoor area when learning ‘ar’, to riding a train in the playground to learn the ‘oi’ phoneme. We also have a ‘Tricky Troll’ who tries to trick the children with ‘tricky words’, which are words that can’t be read using our phonics (e.g. ‘The’ and ‘I’).

We understand that the terminology we use when teaching phonics can be quite confusing! We hope the following glossary is useful to you. Always feel free to come in and talk to us if you require any further support, and please make sure to attend the phonics workshops for your child’s year group.


Blending is the skill of joining sounds together to read words. Children are taught to say the separate sounds in a word and to then blend them together to decode the word.


 A digraph is a sound that is represented by two letters e.g. the sound 'a' in rain is represented by the digraph 'ai'.


A grapheme is a visual representation of a sound e.g. a letter or a group of letters.

Some sounds are represented by a single letter whilst others are represented by more than one letter.


 A phoneme is a unit of sound e.g. the word 'cat' contains three phonemes; c - a - t.


 Segmenting is the opposite of blending. Children are taught to segment a word into its separate sounds in order to spell it.

 split digraph

 A split digraph is a digraph that is separated by other letters e.g. the sound 'a' in the word take is represented by the split digraph a-e.


Please let us know if you would like a printable poster toto help your child at home.