Phonics & Early Reading

We teach reading using the synthetic phonics approach which combines the acquisition of sounds (phonemes) and letter combinations (graphemes) for reading, with the developing use of these in writing. We use 'Letters & Sounds' to support teachers' planning and the 'Jolly Phonics' songs and actions to support teaching and learning.  

There are daily phonics lessons in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2. In EYFS and Year 1 there are also opportunities for children to practise phonics skills in continuous provision. Further consolidation and application of phonics skills taught in lessons takes place with individuals and groups regularly. In all classes guided reading is also used to teach key reading skills appropriate for the ability of the group. Initially decoding is prioritised whilst developing fluency at every stage of phonics teaching which then allows us to have a greater focus on the teaching of comprehension skills. 

Weekly formative assessments highlight children who are not keeping pace with teaching and then additional phonics / reading sessions are delivered on a daily basis to enable children to catch up and secure gaps that have appeared.

Children who have not achieved the expected standard in the Year 1 Phonics Screening receive additional phonics sessions in Year 2 to enable them to pass by the end of Year 2. Individual phonics provision continues into Key Stage 2 in the unlikely event that children have not passed the test by the end of Year 2.

Once the children become more confident, these assessments extend to include the ability to:

  • tackle a wider range of unfamiliar texts
  • show understanding of what they are reading
  • predict an unfamiliar word through understanding on what they are reading
  • predict what might happen next based on what they have already read
  • recall events and characters in the text they are reading.

Our reading scheme consists of titles from Pearson Phonics Bug, Oxford Reading Tree and Rigby. The books are organised by phonics phase and include a range of genres e.g. fiction, non-fiction, poetry and play scripts.