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Early Reading

Early Reading & Phonics:

Phonics is taught daily in Reception, Year One and Year Two. Each session is twenty minutes long and incorporates the main four elements; revisit, teach, practise, and apply revisit.  The children are placed in ability groups according to the phase they are working within from phase 2 to phase 6.

At St Philip’s Primary School, we follow Jolly Phonics in Reception and progress on to the Letters and Sounds document and practice high quality phonics. As a school we subscribe to Phonics Play and use the planning and interactive materials to enliven the curriculum. This is followed by guidance from Support for Spelling to extend higher achieving pupils in Year Two.

The six phases of the Letters and Sounds document provides a structure for teachers to follow and plan children’s progression from, although the boundaries between the phases are not fixed, allowing teachers to plan across the phases depending on the class needs. Teachers’ assessment of individual children will inform the rate at which their children are able to progress through the phases and adapt the pace accordingly.

It is important that the five phases are embedded and the children have a sound understanding of the key knowledge and skills before the final sixth phase is introduced. Year 2 teachers will strive to be able to expose all children to the key elements of Phase 6 by the end of the academic year.

Each year, Reception will run parent workshops that are an introduction to phonics alongside Year 1, who will also host an annual workshop for parents that relates to the national phonics check.


Daily Teaching:

Each child benefits from:

  • A daily, discrete phonics session at 9:00am.
  • Fluid groupings which change according to children’s progress.
  • Small group teaching to enable focused differentiation.
  • Highly trained practitioners leading fun, interactive and effective sessions.
  • Effective assessments which track children’s achievement and attainment over time.
  • The opportunity to work across an age phase rather than across a year group.
  • A weekly spelling test linked directly to the group’s weekly learning objectives.


Early Readers (Reception)

Children will be split into very small groups of  children based on their reading stage and ability. Each group of children will be taught by the teacher and TA over the course of the week.

The children will also be learning independently, focused on phonics reading games / activities appropriate to the phonics stage in which they are securely working. As children’s reading skills become more developed, they may move onto reading linked to a ‘Big Question’ where they talk with a partner about an area of learning linked to Reading Dogs skills. This may be recorded by an adult onto stickers but there is no expectation for children to be recording their own answers in Reception.

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