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Phonics Principles

Phonics is taught systematically using the Read, Write, Inc programme, which is a DfE-validated systematic synthetic phonics programme, as a whole-school approach to teaching early reading and writing.

Children learn the routines and behaviours necessary for each activity, and practise these until they use them automatically. This allows them to focus on what matters most – learning to read and write.

Phonics is taught daily in Reception and Year 1.

A phonics lesson follows the sequence:

•          Revisit previous sounds and/or high frequency words taught

•          Teach new sound

•          Practice the new learning by reading in appropriate decodable books

•          Apply new learning by writing individual words or sentences

•          Practice basic sight words – ‘tricky’ words and high frequency words

Lessons are fast paced, varied and engaging. The idea is that all children are actively involved in phonics lessons. Pupils are given opportunities to apply what they have learnt when they read aloud to an adult using decodable books at school and home. Children are continually assessed and interventions are carefully planned.

Children are initially taught individual sounds (set 1 sounds) in an order which enables them to sound and blend. Set 2 sounds are then introduced which comprise of digraphs and trigraphs before moving onto set 3 sounds.

Children are taught to decode read and nonsense words so that they can identify phonemes in all words which supports early reading and writing and access the phonics screening check which takes place in Year 1. 

Assessment is used effectively to identify children requiring phonics and reading interventions. Daily ‘pinny time’ is used for focused learning of any gaps in their phonics knowledge. Further early reading interventions are used alongside phonics to accelerate learning.