Phonics and Reading – January 2015

This is a statement of the principles and strategies for the teaching of phonics and reading at Lord Deramore’s Primary School.


At Lord Deramore’s Primary School, we aim to enable all pupils to develop their full potential as readers and writers. If children are to develop as competent readers and writers, it is important that they have a secure understanding of phoneme-grapheme correspondences.

The Principles of the Letters and Sounds Programme.

We follow the Letters and Sounds programme of synthetic phonics from the start of Early Years through Key Stage 1. In Key Stage 1, Letters and Sounds is used alongside the spelling requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum. The programme focuses on sequentially securing the skills that are essential for children to decode (read) and encode (spell) words accurately.

The programme is structured into six incremental phases. Phase One focuses on developing speaking and listening skills, phonological awareness, oral blending (hearing phonemes and blending them together) and segmenting (hearing a whole word and then splitting it up into its sounds). Phases Two to Five focus on high-quality phonics work to ensure that, by the end of KS1, children have fluent
word reading skills and good foundations in spelling.

Once secure at Phase 5, children work on Phase 6, which focuses on spelling rules and patterns. Sessions include direct teaching of spelling strategies, proofreading skills and high-frequency words.


In Key Stage 1, at Lord Deramore’s Primary School, phonics is taught in discrete 20 minute daily sessions. Teachers follow the sequence of ‘revisit/review, teach, practise, apply’. In addition to these daily sessions, pupils’ phonics skills are developed through daily shared/guided reading and writing and as opportunities arise across the wider curriculum.

All Key Stage 1 teaching and support staff receive training in the theory and teaching of phonics to ensure phonics lessons are matched to pupils needs and engage them in their learning.

Tracking and Assessment

During daily sessions of phonics, teachers assess children’s understanding of grapheme-phoneme correspondences. Children’s progress in Early Years and Key Stage 1 is tracked half termly using the City of York decoding and encoding trackers.

In the summer term, Year 1 children take a statutory Phonics Screening Check in which that are required to read a twenty decodable real words and twenty decidable pseudo words. This check identifies pupils who are not working at the expected level in decoding. These children receive additional support as they enter Year 2 and will be re-checked in the summer term of Year 2.

Special Educational Needs

Our aim is that every child’s needs are catered for. If children are not attaining as expected, it is our duty to put extra intervention in place, to close the gap and ensure progress is made. This may be either through carefully planned interventions with teaching assistants or with the SEND teacher.


In Key Stage 1 weekly spelling homework is set. In Year 2, these spellings or spelling rules are assessed in school at the end of the week. Spelling homework is based on the current week’s teaching and contains both tricky and decodable words as well as spelling rules.


At Lord Deramore’s Primary School, we encourage all pupils to develop a love of books and reading. All children are provided with daily opportunities to enjoy and share books. Each classroom has a wide range of reading materials available to support all reading abilities.


In addition to discrete phonics lessons, daily guided reading lessons also take place in Key Stage 1. During guided reading lessons, children read carefully selected books from a range of published reading schemes as well as real books. Every child is heard to read in this manner and explicitly taught the skills needed to develop their reading further.

Other reading opportunities throughout the day occur through a range of activities such as: whole class shared reading sessions, story time when real and interactive books are shared and crosscurricular reading opportunities.

Home Reading Books

Children take home a range of fiction and non-fiction books from a range of reading schemes. The books are colour coded according to the book banding system. Until they are decoding at Phase 5, the reading books children take home are entirely decodable.

For children with specific needs, we have additional books at each phonics phase to help address any gaps in children’s knowledge and understanding.

In Key Stage 1, we support children to independently access the books which have been carefully selected to match their current reading ability. Parents and school staff fill in a home-school reading record each time a child is heard read. Each classes also visits the library weekly and all children take home a school library book.