Chirton Primary

Phonics & Reading

How We Teach Phonics

We follow the DfES Letters and Sounds Programme and re-inforce this with Jolly Phonics actions.

The following is a summary of the different phases of the Letters and Sounds Programme.


Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each.  Blending sounds together to make words.  Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each.  Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters.  Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for one phoneme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase.  Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, jump, and clap.

Phase Five

Now we move on to the "complex code".  Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase Six

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.

Within KS1, children are grouped and taught according to ability but we ensure that delivery is paced according to national expectations.  We are very well resourced which means that children have the opportunity to learn using a wide variety of media, e.g. foam letters to build and read words, games and interactive whiteboard activities.  Children are regularly assessed and groups re-arranged accordingly.  One teacher has had comprehensive training in the delivery of Letters and Sounds and has used this expertise to deliver CPD for all other members of staff.  Children who have not completed Phase 6 as they enter KS2 continue to work through the programme and then move onto Read, Write, Inc, Sound Discovery or Sir Kit’s Quest as an additional intervention, if necessary.  EYFS pupils are initially taught together but are then split into ability groups as they enter Phase 3.

How We Teach Reading

The 'mechanics' of reading are initially taught using the Letters and Sounds programme.  This is supplemented with exploration of a range of text types and explicit teaching of reading skills during daily literacy sessions, which continues in each year group.  Pupils have at least one Guided Reading session per week - in KS1 this is more likely to be two per week - where reading is taught to groups differentiated by ability.  In school, children read individually with their teacher, TA and adult helpers (not necessarily the book they take home); the frequency of this depends upon the age and individual needs of the child and all adults record important information in a Learning Log which is kept in the child's bag and taken home/returned to school daily.  This provides a 1:1 opportunity, geared to the child's stage of development.

Reading is assessed using APP statements.  Every classroom has an attractive reading area which is well stocked with a range of genres which are suited to the reading ability of the children in the class.  Both fiction and non-fiction stock is supplemented through the Wiltshire Learning Resource Library, often linked to class topics.  When pupils start school, parents attend a workshop, which gives guidance on how to support their child with reading at home and they receive a booklet of ideas information.

All pupils follow the school reading scheme until they are assessed by their teacher to be competent enough to be a 'free reader'.  This is irrespective of chronological age and we have a wide selection of scheme books for older readers.  We do not follow a particular scheme; books are banded and children have books from within a particular colour band until they are ready to move onto the next.  Each band colour contains books from a range of commercial schemes, some based on developing phonic skills and others building up comprehension and genre awareness.

We have a wide range of interventions in place for children who we feel require extra help.  This may take the form of relatively low level support, such as the ‘Big Heart’ Helper scheme (selected children are assigned an adult buddy with whom they read regularly) or more formal support through recognised programmes which are implemented by the SEN Manager and SENCO.