Teaching phonics

Find out how to choose a validated phonics programme, and see examples of how schools use them and set out their phonics objectives and policies.

Last reviewed on 19 February 2024See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: PrimaryRef: 864
  1. Assess your staff phonics knowledge first
  2. Choose a phonics programme to deliver
  3. How are other schools using these? 
  4. Include your phonics aims and objectives on your website
  5. Write your own spelling and phonics policy using examples from schools

It's a statutory requirement to teach phonics at Key Stage 1 (KS1) and administer the phonics screening check to all pupils who meet the required standards in KS1.

Assess your staff phonics knowledge first

Share our subject knowledge audit with your staff to get an idea of their confidence in teaching phonics, and where they might need more support. 

Choose a phonics programme to deliver

What are the DfE-validated programmes?

The DfE has guidance to help schools choose a phonics programme, including a list of programmes that meets its "core criteria for effective systematic synthetic phonics teaching" – these are optional (see below). 

Find links to each of the DfE-validated programmes here Information is also available on the DfE's updated contact details of phonics programmes page. A Flying Start with Letters & Sounds ACET Phonics All Aboard Phonics ALS Phonics: Letters