Approaching Phonics and Reading


  Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1

We aim to teach all our children to read, regardless of their social and economic background, ethnicity, language spoken at home, special needs and disability by the end of Key Stage 1. We achieve this with a step by step approach to teaching reading,writing and spelling through phonics, whole word recognition and by placing learning to read at the heart of our curriculum.

We teach synthetic phonics through the Jolly Phonics and Letter and Sounds schemes.

We believe that phonics teaches children the complex connections in English between sounds and letters which are essential to their understanding when learning to read and spell. We adopt a rigorous, fast paced approach in our phonics teaching involving a multi-sensory approach which appeals to the children’s different styles of learning.

We believe that the best phonics teaching involves active participation by all children.

Detailed tracking of the children’s progress takes place regularly and intervention for any children who are struggling is put in place, for example we run a ‘Sid the Squirrel’ group three times a week in the spring term for any Year 1 children who require extra practice. Children take home phonemes and key words to work on with their parents.

Pupils are given opportunities to apply what they have learnt through reading writing and comprehension of what they are reading. This includes time to read aloud to adults at home and in school to practise their decoding skills, word and phonic games and guided reading. Guided reading takes place weekly and incorporates the teaching and learning of specific reading objectives. Spellings relating to phonic work are given weekly. Key and tricky words teaching takes place regularly and are incorporated into the children’s homework.

Opportunities for consolidation and repetition are at the heart of our daily practice.

Our library is resourced with early phonic readers, Jelly and Bean and Jolly Phonics, which expand to richer fiction, non-fiction, poems and plays from a range of publishers. Many of our guided reading titles are present in big book form as well to aid our teaching in shared reading and writing lessons.

We offer the children rich opportunities to talk, listen and build as wide a vocabulary as possible to form a solid foundation for reading, writing and spelling. Imaginative play and story re-telling are used alongside discussions and  planning about their learning.

Our topic led curriculum gives the children rich opportunities to talk and listen in a wide range of contexts. This contributes to developing their familiarity with books and stories and their knowledge of the meanings of words. There is a strong focus on developing the children’s capacity to listen, concentrate and discriminate between sounds.

For further details about our approach to the teaching of phonics please click the link here to read our Phonics Policy.