Quick Links

Quick Links

St Robert Southwell

Catholic Primary School

Google Services

Google Translate

Google Translate

Google Search

Google Search




At St Robert Southwell, we follow the Song of Sounds as our systematic synthetic phonic programme. The children are taught to hear, identify and use different sounds. Children learn how to break up words and decode them into individual sounds (phonemes and graphemes) and then blend these to read the word. With each sound, the children are taught how to write the letter.


Phoneme - a single unit of sound

Grapheme - a written letter, or group of letters that represent a sound.


When using the sounds, please use the pure sounds, not letter names.


Meet Croc!

Croc helps the children to listen carefully to the sounds and blend these to say the whole word. Croc can only talk in sounds; the children have to help him figure out the word.

For example:

Croc answers the question, where do you live? P-o-n-d, the children say pond.


Meet Felicity Fairy!

Felicity Fairy helps the children to learn their sounds. She teaches the children about the phonemes and graphemes in decodable words. Felicity’s rules cannot be applied to the tricky words.

For example:

Felicity will teach us to read words such as c-a-t, p-l-ay and qu-i-ck.


Tricky words!

Tricky words may also be described as red words, spikey words and dangerous words! These words are not easily decodable and will challenge the children to learn them from sight. When it comes to a tricky word, the children need to ‘Stop and Think’. Children in Reception and Y1 will bring flashcards home each week to support the words taught in class.

For example:

Tricky words include: the, I, go, was, she, are.


Alien words (a.k.a nonsense words)

In Y1, children use their phonic knowledge to decode alien words; this helps to practice sounds they have learnt so far. In the summer term, the children undertake the Phonics Screening Check.

Alien word examples: prog, corb, brog and plig.



  • The phonics screening check was 100% of Year 1 pupils in 2022, exceeding the pass mark of 32.
  • Children are enthusiastic in joining in the Song of Sounds song and enjoy meeting different characters along the way, especially Croc! 
  • Children's phonic progress is evident in our continual assessments throughout the school year. 
  • The mechanics of phonics are taught consistently throughout Reception and KS1 enabling children to build a strong ability to access the learning independently.