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Cardinal Newman Catholic Primary School

Lead Kindly Light, Lead Thou Me On

Xavier Education Trust

Phonics and Reading in EY and KS1


The Teaching of Phonics

Children are taught to read in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 using a variety of resources based on letters and sounds including Phonics Play, Big Cat Phonics and Read Write Inc.  Phonics sessions take place daily with a new sound introduced each day.  As children learn these sounds, they develop the skills to blend the sounds together to read words and to segment the sounds to spell or write words.

At Cardinal Newman we use the "Jolly Phonics" programme to supplement our teaching.  The children learn actions and songs that correspond with a sound.  The children learn single sounds in a particular order first.  The first sounds taught are s, a, t and p because these sounds can be arranged to make simple words such as sat, tap, pat etc.

Once single letter sounds have been learned the children are introduced to sounds that are made up of two letters such as sh, th, oa, ee etc.

The children are taught the main 42 sounds of English in Reception as well as alphabet letter names.  In Years 1 and 2 children are taught alternative spellings to previously learned sounds.

This structured approach is suited to the Foundation Stage and Key Sage 1 and can be tailored to the needs of individual children.

The Teaching of Reading

Initially, children are encouraged to behave like a reader - holding the book correctly, turning the pages and telling the story in their own words.

When a child can recognise the first ten key words and a number of sounds and is beginning to blend these sounds to read words, they are given a reading book.  Initially they will require help to blend the sounds in a word together, but most pick up the skill quite quickly.

Some words cannot be segmented using phonics so we also teach children to learn a number of words by sight.

We teach reading through phonetically plausible (containing words that can be sounded out using phonics) reading books and we supplement these with other books such as Oxford Reading Tree, Ginn Lighthouse, Oxford Literacy Web, PM Books.

Reading sessions in school include individual reading to staff and volunteers.  Guided reading also takes place where children read and discuss books in a small group with an adult.