Phonics intervention at Key Stage 2

Some children at Key Stage 2 experience difficulty in reading and/or writing because they have missed or misunderstood a crucial phase of systematic phonics teaching.

This is designed to help teachers and suitably trained teaching assistants (TAs) support children who may have poorly developed phonic knowledge, skills and understanding. The ultimate aim is to help children to become fluent, confident readers and writers as soon as possible.

Common difficulties

In their day-to-day learning some children may:

  • experience difficulties with blending for reading and segmenting for spelling
  • show confusion with certain graphemes (letters) and related phonemes (sounds)
  • have difficulty segmenting longer words containing adjacent consonants
  • demonstrate a general insecurity with long vowel phonemes. For example, children generally know the most common representation of a phoneme (e.g. /ai/ as in train) but need more explanation and practice about alternative spellings for particular phonemes.

Providing suitable intervention

You can refer to [Letters and sounds] for a full Phonics programme, but this resource focuses on the most common issues that Key Stage 2 children find problematic.

It is important to accurately assess and identify the gaps in children’s knowledge. Children may need:

  • just a few weeks of short, focused sessions to revise specific items of knowledge
  • a half-term or so to learn crucial concepts such as blending and segmenting
  • a term or more of consolidation to cover both specific items of knowledge and wider concepts.
  • CLLD Phonics

    Find out why some children need additional teaching at Key Stage 2. The definition of terms can help when working through this programme. This is part of Phonics intervention at Key Stage 2.

  • How Phonics intervention is organised

    There are four units, each of which contain suggested approaches and activities. Find out about the focus of each of the units and how they relate to Letters and Sounds. This is part of Phonics intervention at Key Stage 2.

  • How to use Phonics intervention

    Follow this four-step process to assess pupils’ knowledge of Phonics, select an appropriate unit based on their needs, teach regular, short, focused sessions and prioritise next steps. This is part of Phonics intervention at Key Stage 2.

  • Unit 2

    This unit focuses on securing knowledge of graphemes and phonemes. Find out about the aims and outcomes of this unit, who it is aimed at and what problems they might be facing. This is part of Phonics intervention at Key Stage 2.

  • Unit 3

    This unit focuses on digraphs. See which digraphs it focuses on, find out who this unit is aimed at and what problems they might be facing. Consider teaching the sessions using two teaching strategies from Letters and Sounds. Focus digraphs Phase 3 focuses on these digraphs:

  • Unit 4

    This unit focuses on blending and segmenting three-phoneme words. Find out who this unit is aimed at, what problems they might be facing and a suggestion for delivering the sessions. This is part of Phonics intervention at Key Stage 2.

  • Unit 5

    This unit focuses on alternative spellings of phonemes, split digraphs and alternative pronunciations of graphemes. Find out who this unit is aimed at, what problems they might be facing and a suggestion for how you might deliver the sessions before moving on to a spelling programme. This is part of Phonics intervention at Key Stage 2.