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St Margaret's CEVA Primary School

Transforming lives by living and learning together in God's love

Reading and Phonics

Miss ElsdonOne of my greatest passions as a teacher is helping children to unlock the mysteries of reading and writing through teaching high quality phonics. I passionately believe that all children have the right to experience that magical moment when they first realise they can read their favourite book on their own or write their first story. At St Margaret’s this journey starts with phonics, it helps children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. 


We teach phonics daily in streamed groups across Early Years and Key Stage 1 and where necessary Key Stage 2. As a school we have chosen to use the Twinkl Phonics scheme because of it’s clear learning structure and the engaging and active phonic sessions they provide. We rigorously assess children’s progress throughout the year to ensure they are always being appropriately challenged and supported.


What is phonics?

Phonics is a method of teaching children to read by linking sounds (phonemes) and the symbols that represent them (graphemes, or letter groups). We teach phonics daily for 25 minutes. Our phonic sessions are streamed across EYFS and KS1 depending on which phonic phase the children are working within. At St Margaret’s we use Twinkl Phonics to plan and deliver our phonics sessions and interventions.


Beginning the Phonics Journey…

Children are taught letter sounds in Reception. This involves thinking about what sound a word starts with, saying the sound out loud and then recognising how that sound is represented by a letter. The aim is for children to be able to see a letter and then say the sound it represents out loud, this is called decoding and is a key skill in reading and writing.


Phonics learning in KS1

In Year 1 children prepare for the statutory Phonics Screening Test at the end of the year. When they are ready, children will the progress to learning spelling rules, such as adding suffixes to words (such as -ed, -ing, -er, -est, -ful, -ly, -y, -s, -es, -ment and -ness). They will be taught rules on how to change root words when adding these suffixes (for example, removing the ‘e’ from ‘have’ before adding ‘ing’) and then move onto harder concepts, such as silent letters (knock, write, etc) and particular endings (le in bottle and il in fossil).


Phonics and Early Reading

We have recently purchased new phonetically plauseable reading books for children to take home as home readers. Teachers match the text to the children's phonic level to ensure that the reading they are doing at home is consolidating and re-enforcing the learning the children are doing in school. Children will also take home a "Read With Me" book that is designed to be read with support of an adult and increase the children's exposure to vocabulary and widen thier reading expereinces. 


Phonics beyond KS1

Phonics provides the basic skills children need to read and write, sometimes children need to continue to develop these skills into Key Stage 2. When this is the case we continue to provide daily phonic sessions and target interventions to support our pupils to become fluent and confident readers and writers.


Miss Elsdon Phonics Lead

Phonics Progression Map

Parents Guide to Phonics

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check Guide for Parents

Year 1 Phonic Screening Test Parent Presentation