Phonics & Reading

"We were amazed at how well Christopher kept our son engaged and the improvements he achieved just over a few lessons. His phonics has improved dramatically and he is much more confident with his reading. The transformation was also noticed by his teacher at school."

For primary Key Stage 1 and 2 to secondary GCSE (age 5 - 16)
Phonics to support English as an additional language
Exam preparation for phonics screening SATs, 11+, GCSE and ESOL
Proficiency in reading and grammar
Taught through a diverse and inclusive range of  English literature
Help with homework for only £10
One-to-one from £30 per session
Small group classes from £20 per session
Parent workshops in reading and phonics

Welcome to Our Early Readers Section

We are thrilled to introduce you to the wonderful world of phonics and early reading. At GLA Tutors, we strongly believe that a solid foundation in phonics is the key to unlocking a child's reading potential. Phonics is the sytematic method of teaching reading and spelling by associating letters with their sounds. It plays a crucial role in helping children develop essential reading skills, such as decoding unfamiliar words and understanding the rules of language.

Our dedicated team of experienced tutors is passionate about helping children build strong phonics skills from an early age. We understand that every child learns at their own pace, and we tailor our teaching methods to meet the unique needs of each student. Through engaging and interactive lessons, we strive to make learning phonics enjoyable and rewarding. Whether your child is just starting their reading journey or needs extra support to improve their phonics skills, our tutoring services are here to help. 

Our Phonics Curriculum  Intent

Our phonics and reading tuition is designed with the intent of fostering a strong foundation in literacy skills and cultivating a lifelong love for reading.

We believe that phonics instruction from an early age is essential in helping students develop decoding and word recognition skills, enabling them to become confident and fluent readers as early as possible. 

Our curriculum provides systematic and explicit phonics instruction, ensuring that students understand the relationship between letters and sounds, and learn how to blend and segment words effectively. We also emphasise the importance of phonemic awareness, helping students develop an understanding of the individual sounds within words.

Our Early Readers Curriculum Intent

In addition to phonics instruction, our curriculum focuses on developing comprehension skills, vocabulary expansion, and fostering a love for reading. 

We expose students to a wide range of age-appropriate texts, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and informational texts, enabling them to engage with different genres and styles of writing. We provide opportunities for guided and independent reading, allowing students to practice their skills and develop their reading fluency and comprehension abilities.

Our intent is not only to help students become proficient readers but also to instill in them a lifelong love for reading. We aim to create an engaging and supportive learning experience where students can explore different genres, develop their own reading preferences, and become critical thinkers and confident communicators. 

Our instruction promotes reading for pleasure, encouraging students to explore texts beyond the classroom and fostering a lifelong habit of reading.

Letters & Sounds

We use Letters and Sounds as a systematic approach for teaching children to read using phonics. It is used in many schools in England and it is split into six phases, from starting to learn about sounds in phase one to becoming fluent readers in phase six.

Letters and Sounds has many positive attributes and technicalities - especially for EAL learners - that are missing in the Read Write Inc. programme, which many schools are now adopting.

Read Write Inc. helps children to become fluent readers by teaching them to learn words by rote. However, it does little for children's reading comprehension (understanding), because children don't have the opportunity to understand the meaning of the words taught other than by the context of the words. 

Letters and Sounds improves reading comprehension because it is a visual, systematic, approach, which includes learning and embedding the meaning of every word that is taught. As experienced teachers in KS1 in a range of schools that use both schemes of work, we believe that this method provides children with a vast rasnge of vocabulary that they understand and will use and develop as they progress.


Phase One

Phase One of the Letters and Sounds scheme of learning for Phonics in England focuses on developing children's listening skills and their ability to discriminate sounds. It is designed to be the initial phase before children begin to learn the sounds of individual letters. During Phase One, children engage in a range of activities to enhance their auditory perception, including listening to environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, and rhythm and rhyme. They also practice oral blending and segmenting of sounds. This phase is crucial in preparing children for the subsequent phases of the Phonics program.

Phase Two

Phase Two introduces children to individual letter sounds. It focuses on teaching children to recognize and decode simple three-letter words. During this phase, children learn the sounds of the letters of the alphabet and begin blending them together to read words. They also learn to segment words into their individual sounds for spelling. Phase Two typically involves interactive activities, games, and resources to make learning engaging and fun. By the end of this phase, children should be able to read and write words using the letter sounds they have learned.

During Phase Two, children learn several important skills related to phonics and early reading. Here are the key skills children typically develop during this phase:

1. Letter Recognition: Children learn to recognise and name the letters of the alphabet. In Phase Two of the Letters and Sounds scheme, children learn the initial sounds of the alphabet. Here are the sounds that children typically learn during this phase:

Set 1: s, a, t, p | Set 2: i, n, m, d | Set 3: g, o, c, k | Set 4: ck, e, u, r | Set 5: h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss

These sounds are taught in a systematic and progressive manner, allowing children to build their phonics knowledge and skills. It is important to note that some sounds are introduced in pairs, such as 'ff' and 'll', to highlight certain sound patterns. By learning these initial sounds, children can begin to blend and segment sounds to read and write simple words. These foundational phonics skills are essential for their development as readers and writers.

2. Blending: Children practice blending individual letter sounds together to read simple three-letter words. For example, they learn to blend the sounds /c/, /a/, and /t/ to read the word "cat."

4. Segmenting: Children learn to break down words into their individual sounds. For example, they segment the word "hat" into the sounds /h/, /a/, and /t/ for spelling.

5. High-Frequency Words: Children begin to learn and recognise a set of high-frequency words that appear frequently in written texts. These words are often not phonetically regular and need to be memorized.

6. Oral Blending and Segmenting: Children practice orally blending and segmenting sounds in words, helping them develop their phonological awareness.

7. Reading and Writing: Children start reading and writing simple words using the letter sounds they have learned. They may use magnetic letters, letter cards, or other manipulatives to support their learning.

These skills provide a foundation for children to develop their reading and writing abilities as they progress through the different phases of the Letters and Sounds scheme.

Phase Three

In Phase Three, children continue to build on their phonics knowledge by learning more sounds and exploring digraphs and trigraphs. Here are the sounds and graphemes that children typically learn during this phase:

1. Set 6: j, v, w, x

2. Set 7: y, z, zz, qu

3. Consonant digraphs: ch, sh, th, ng

4. Vowel digraphs: ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er

During Phase Three, children also learn to blend and segment longer words with these new sounds and graphemes. They practice reading and spelling words with consonant digraphs and vowel digraphs, which helps to expand their reading and writing abilities. It's important to note that while the focus is on learning new sounds and graphemes, children also continue to revise and consolidate their knowledge of previously learned sounds and high-frequency words.

By the end of Phase Three, children should be able to read and spell words with a variety of digraphs and trigraphs, providing them with a solid foundation for further phonics development.

Phase 4

In Phase Four of the Letters and Sounds scheme, children focus on developing their skills in blending and segmenting longer words. They consolidate their knowledge of previously learned sounds and graphemes and apply them to read and spell more complex words. While Phase Four does not introduce new sounds and graphemes, it places a strong emphasis on blending and segmenting skills.

During Phase Four, children continue to practice reading and spelling words with consonant digraphs, vowel digraphs, and trigraphs learned in Phase Three. They also work on blending and segmenting words with adjacent consonants and consonant clusters, such as "bl", "st", and "sp". Additionally, they learn to blend and segment words with initial and final clusters, such as "spl", "scr", and "str".

By the end of Phase Four, children should be able to confidently blend and segment longer words with a range of sounds and graphemes. This prepares them for more complex reading and writing tasks in later phases.

It's important to note that Phase Four also includes continued practice of high-frequency words and sentence reading. This helps children develop fluency and comprehension skills alongside their phonics knowledge.

Here are some of the consonant clusters that children learn in Phase Four:

1. Initial Consonant Clusters:

bl (as in "black") | br (as in "brown") | cl (as in "clap") | cr (as in "crab") | dr (as in "drum")
fl (as in "flag") | fr (as in "frog") | gl (as in "glue") | gr (as in "grass") | pl (as in "plant")  
pr (as in "pram") | sk (as in "skate") | sl (as in "slide") | sm (as in "smile") | sn (as in "snail")
sp (as in "spoon") | st (as in "star") | sw (as in "swim") | tr (as in "train")

2. Final Consonant Clusters:

ft (as in "left") | ld (as in "cold") | lf (as in "self") | lk (as in "milk") | lm (as in "elm") | lp (as in "help")
lt (as in "melt") | mp (as in "jump") | nd (as in "sand") | nk (as in "bank") | nt (as in "plant") | sk (as in "desk")
sp (as in "clasp") | st (as in "post") | pt (as in "kept")

By practicing blending and segmenting words with these consonant clusters, children develop their phonics skills and become more confident readers and spellers. Overall, Phase Four aims to further develop children's phonological awareness, blending and segmenting skills, and their ability to read and spell words with consonant clusters. It sets the foundation for more complex phonics concepts and prepares children for Phase Five of the Letters and Sounds scheme.

Phase Five

In Phase 5a, children learn several new digraphs (two letters that make one sound). Here are the digraphs taught in Phase 5a:

ay - as in "play" | ou - as in "cloud" | ie - as in "pie" | ea - as in "beach" | oy - as in "boy" | ir - as in "bird"
ue - as in "blue" | aw - as in "saw" | wh - as in "when" | ph - as in "phone" | ew - as in "new" | oe - as in "toe"
au - as in "author" | ey - as in "money" | a-e - as in "cake" | e-e - as in "theme" | i-e - as in "bike" | o-e - as in "home"
u-e - as in "rude"

These digraphs are introduced gradually, and children practice blending and segmenting words containing these sounds. They also learn to recognise and read words that contain these digraphs.

Children learn new graphemes (letter or group of letters that represent a sound) and alternative pronunciations for graphemes and then alternative spelling for the same sound. Here is what some schools call the 'alphabet code' and what others call 'sound or phoneme families': 

/ay/ family: "ai" (rain) | "ay" (day) | "a-e" (cake) | "eigh" (weight) | "ey" (grey) | "ea" (break) | "a" (acorn)

/ee/ family: "ee" (see) | "ea" (sea) | "e-e" (these) | "ie" (chief) | "y" (happy) | "ey" (money) | "eo" (people)

/igh/ family: "igh" (high) | "ie" (pie) | "i-e" (like) | "y" (sky) | "i" (kind)

/or/ family: "or" (fork) | "aw" (saw) | "au" (autumn) | "al" (talk) | "our" (pour) | "augh" (daughter)
"ore" (sore) | "oor" (door)

/air/ family: "air" (hair) | "ear" (pear) | "are" (care)

/ear/ family: "ear" (beard) | "ere" (sphere) | "eer" (deer)


/ou/ family:` "ou" (cloud) | "ow" (down) | "ough" (bough)

/oy/ family: "oy" (toy) | "oi" (coin)

/oa/ family: "oa" (boat) | "ow" (throw) | "oe" (toe) | "o-e" (bone) | "o" (no)

/oo/ family: "oo" (moon) | "ew" (chew) | "ue" (glue) | "ui" (fruit) | "ou" (soup) | "u-e" (flute)

/u/ family: "u" (put) | "oo" (cook) | "oul" (could) | "o" (woman)

/ur/ family: "ur" (burger) | "ir" (bird) | "er" (stern) | "ear" (search)

/yoo/ family: "ue" (argue) | "ew" (stew) | "u-e" (tube)

/e/ family: "e" (egg) | "ea" (head)

/sh/ family: "sh" (shop) | "ch" (chef) | "t" (station) | "ss" (tissue) | "s" (sugar) | "c" (suspicion)

These are some of the sounds and graphemes that children learn in Phase Five. There may be additional sounds and graphemes depending on the specific phonics program or curriculum being used.

GLA Recomended Reading Lists.docx

Our Reading Lists

Welcome to our thoughtfully curated collection of books designed to enrich the national curriculum and provide invaluable support for children facing challenges with low self-esteem or in need of additional mental health support. 

At the heart of our selection is a commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive learning environment, where literature becomes a powerful tool for both education and emotional well-being. 

Our carefully chosen titles cover a spectrum of subjects, embracing diversity and addressing relevant themes to engage young minds and promote empathy. These books are not only academic resources but also nurturing companions for students navigating the complexities of self-esteem and mental health. 

We believe in the transformative power of storytelling to inspire, uplift, and create a foundation for a brighter future. 

Explore our collection and embark on a journey of learning, understanding, and personal growth.

For our early learners who are new to the UK or just working towards proficiency in the English Language. For adult learners who are seeking to improve their English or working towards a specific qualification or examination in English.

Head on over to our ESOL page for more information.

Help with Homework

Hourly online homework support sessions provided by tutors offer valuable assistance to students as they navigate through their homework assignments. 

These sessions provide a support where students can sit with experienced online tutors who are ready to guide them through any challenges they may encounter. Whether it's clarifying concepts, answering questions, or providing step-by-step explanations, tutors are there to ensure that students understand and complete their homework effectively. 

These sessions not only help students with their immediate assignments but also foster independent learning skills and boost confidence in tackling future homework tasks. 

By offering personalised attention and targeted support, tutors aim to empower students to succeed academically and develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter.