When designing the teaching sequence for Phonics Shed, we worked in consultation with a number of teachers and took their feedback on board.

We felt that, because many teachers are familiar with the Letters and Sounds (2007) teaching sequence, it would be helpful to broadly follow the same order. However, we have made some tweaks and additions to the teaching sequence, in line with recent DfE guidance, to ensure children are building on sound foundations as they work their way through our scheme.

The Phonics Shed scheme draws its list of High Frequency Words (including Common Exception Words) from the same place as Letters and Sounds and, as such, they appear in a similar order. We have ensured every HFW and CEW clearly links to a specific GPC being taught, including words covered in Phase 4 Letters and Sounds which have been redistributed appropriately throughout the Phonics Shed planning.

Phase 1 Letters & Sounds vs Phonics Shed Chapter 1

Letters & Sounds

Split into Seven Aspects that cover:

  • General sound discrimination – environmental, instrumental and body percussion
  • Rhythm and rhyme
  • Alliteration
  • Voice sounds
  • Oral blending and segmenting

Phonics Shed

The Seven Aspects of Phase 1 are covered in the Chapter 1 lessons, although in a slightly different order to ensure a smoother progression. These are covered in our Nine Elements:

  • Introduction: Joe: An Introduction to Phonics Shed
  • Element 1: Environmental Sounds
  • Element 2: Motor Skills
  • Element 3: Our Bodies
  • Element 4: Instrumental Sounds
  • Element 5: Our Voices
  • Element 6: Stories Rhymes and Rhythm
  • Element 7: From Left to Right
  • Element 8: Initial Sounds
  • Element 9: Beginning to Blend and Segment

The extra elements are ‘From Left to Right’ and ‘Motor Skills’.

Phase 2 Letters & Sounds vs Phonics Shed Chapter 2

Letters & Sounds

  • 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

Phonics Shed

  • Set 1: s, a, t, p
  • Set 2: i, n, m, n
  • Set 3: g, o, c, k
  • Set 4: ck, e, u, r
  • Set 5: h, b, f, l
  • Set 6: j, v, w, x
  • Set 7: y, z, qu, voiced s
  • Set 8: Double Letters ff, ll, ss, zz
  • Set 8 continued: Additional Doubles (optional) tt, pp, rr, mm, cc, nn, dd, gg, bb

All 26 letters are covered in the same chapter.

Additional planning on vowels and consonants; alphabetical order can also be found in Chapter 2.

Phase 3 Letters & Sounds vs Phonics Shed Chapter 3

Letters & Sounds

Sounds taught: j, v, w ,x ,y, z, zz, qu,ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er

Phonics Shed

Some Phase 3 GPCs are covered in Chapter 2 Sets 6 and 7 (j, v, w ,x ,y, z, zz, qu).

These GPCs are covered in Chapter 3; including both the voiced and unvoiced ‘th’, both ‘oo’ sounds comparing ‘er’/ur/ and the ‘er’ schwa ending, and the various sounds made by ‘ure’.

  • Set 1: ng, ch, sh, th
  • Set 2: ai, ee, igh, oa
  • Set 3: ue, ow, oi, oo
  • Set 4: ar, or, ur, er
  • Set 5: ear, air, ure

Additional planning is available as part of Set 5 for the ‘a’/ar/ GPC, including regional pronunciation.

Phase 4 Letters & Sounds vs Phonics Shed.

Letters & Sounds

Recap all previous sounds.

Read and write words with initial and/or final blends: st, nd, mp, nt, nk, ft, sk, lt, lp, tr, dr, gr, cr, br, fr, bl, fl, gl, pl, cl, sl, sp, st, tw, sm, nch, shr, str, thr

Phonics Shed

Phase 4 skills are integrated throughout Phonics Shed Chapters 2 to 4 rather than being taught as a separate section.

Words with consecutive consonants are included as soon as they become decodable and previous sounds are recapped at the start of every lesson.

This is to alleviate confusion between ‘consonant blends/clusters’ and digraphs and trigraphs.

Phase 5 Letters & Sounds vs Phonics Shed Chapter 4
(Year 1)

Letters & Sounds

Teach new graphemes for reading ay, ou, ie, ea , oy, ir, ue, aw, wh, ph, ew, oe, au, a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e

Teach alternative spellings for ch, j, m, n, r, s, z, u, i, ear, ar, air, or, ur, oo, ai, ee, igh, oa, y/oo, oo, sh

Phonics Shed

Chapter 4a: Alternative graphemes for known phonemes

  • Set 1: oe, ay, ew
  • Set 2: ea, ey, ie
  • Set 3: aw, au, ir, oy
  • Set 4: ou, are, ph, wh
  • Set 5: a_e, e_e, i_e, o_e, u_e


  • /ee/ spelled ey
  • /air/ spelled are
  • Two phonemes for ie (/igh/ and /ee/), ew and u_e (both can use /ue/ or /oo/)

Chapter 4b: Alternative phonemes for known graphemes

Some alternative spellings have already been covered in previous chapters.

  • Set 1: recap previously learned alternative pronunciations
  • Set 2: c/s/, g/j/, i/igh/, /ue/, e/ee/
  • Set 3: ea/e/, ow/oa/, or/ur/, ey/ai/
  • Set 4: ue/oo/, o/oa/, o/oo/, ch/c/, ch/sh/
  • Set 5: a/ai/, a/o/, y/igh/, y/ee/, y/i/
  • Set 6: ou/oo/, ou/u/, ou/oa/, ear/ur/, ear/air/
  • Set 7: new phoneme /zh/

Chapter 4c: Less common alternatives and best fit

Covers all GPCs with alternative graphemes or phonemes. The exception being unvoiced and unvoiced th which have no common alternative GPCs. This section may extend into Year 2.

Phase 6 Letters & Sounds vs Transition to Spelling Shed
(Year 2)

Letters & Sounds

  • Understand and apply suffixes – ed, ing, ful, est, er, ment, ness, en, s, es
  • Understand the rules for adding ing, ed, er, est, ful, ly, y
  • Investigate how adding suffixes and prefixes changes words
  • Introduce the past tense

Phonics Shed

Words with suffixes are introduced across all chapters (once decodable). Additionally, the skill of adding suffixes is encouraged in many of our decodable reading scheme books.

Access to Spelling Shed is included in your Phonics Shed pack price.

Suffixes are in Stage 1 and Stage 2 Spelling Shed Scheme lessons.

Stage 1 Spelling Shed Grammar Scheme includes:

  • how suffixes and prefixes change the meaning of words and the rules for the spelling of plurals
  • rules for adding ing, ed, er, est, es, s, y

Stage 2 Spelling Shed Grammar Scheme includes:

  • introduce the past tense
  • rules and application of adding suffixes en, ful, ly, ment, ness

Visit the Spelling Shed site to find out more

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planning sample