Whiteley Primary School

Early Reading and Phonics

Early Reading and Phonics

At Whiteley Primary School, early reading is taught using synthetic phonics as the main approach to reading. Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds for reading, and how to segment the sounds in order to write words. They are taught to use their phonic skills and knowledge as their first approach to reading, but are also taught high frequency words which do not completely follow the phonic rules.

Early reading and phonics are taught from the start of Year R using ‘Bug Club Phonics’ – a DfE validated phonics programme. Bug Club phonics provides access to high quality teaching and learning resources, and reading books that directly link to the phonemes that children are being taught. These books are often referred to simply as ‘decodable’ books; their use can help children feel successful from the very beginning as they do not encounter words that include phonemes they have not been taught.  Children have access to real and e-books from the programme which are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge.

Our aim is that all children will enjoy learning to read, achieve well and make speedy progress in reading. Teachers use a variety of techniques to make phonics lessons quick paced and multi-sensory. Children who require additional support in acquiring their sounds will be given this in addition to their daily phonics lessons.

To support children in becoming confident readers, we acknowledge the importance of developing a close partnership with parents/carers. As well as daily phonics/reading teaching in school, children need regular opportunities to apply their newly acquired skills and daily reading practice at home is strongly encouraged. Children will be given a reading book to bring home that is phonically decodable as well as being allocated the specific Bug Club e-books to practice the sounds they have learnt that week.

We want children to see reading as purposeful and pleasurable – we therefore also send home a range of books for parents to read and share with their children, helping to widen children’s vocabulary and develop a love of stories, as well as understand that reading can help us acquire new knowledge.

For more information about phonics, including a video of how to pronounce the phonemes (sounds), please select the Parents’ Guidance for English tab on the right.