Phonics and Reading

This is a statement of the principles and strategies for the teaching of phonics and reading at Lord Deramore’s Primary School in Early Years and Key Stage 1.

Phonics Statement

 At Lord Deramore’s, we aim to enable all pupils to reach their full potential as readers and writers and regard developing a secure understanding of phoneme-grapheme correspondences as a key element of this. We follow the Letters and Sounds programme of synthetic phonics from the start of Early Years. 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.

Phonics is taught in discrete sessions within year groups.  These sessions build up to 20 minutes daily by the end of Early Years. Teachers follow the sequence of ‘revisit/review, teach, practise, apply’. In addition to these daily sessions, pupils’ phonics skills are developed through shared/guided reading and writing and as opportunities arise across the wider curriculum.

All Early Years and Key Stage 1 teaching and support staff receive training in the theory and teaching of phonics to ensure lessons are closely matched to pupils’ needs. Children’s progress is tracked half termly using the City of York decoding and encoding trackers. In the summer term, Year 1 children take the statutory Phonics Screening Check. This check identifies pupils who are not yet working at the expected phonics level in decoding. These children receive additional support, in whole class teaching and via intervention, as they enter Year 2 and are re-checked in the summer term of Year 2.

Special Educational Needs

If children are not attaining as expected, it is our duty to put extra intervention in place, to close the gap and to ensure progress is made. This may be either through carefully planned interventions with teaching assistants or with the SEND teacher. We subscribe to the website Nessy, which is accessed by pupils with dyslexic tendancies to support the development of their phonics skills.


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 range of reading material available to support all reading abilities. Throughout the year, we hold a series of events to promote reading including: World Book Day and book swaps and fairs as well as taking part in the Redhouse Book Awards.


Guided reading lessons are introduced gradually in EY and take place daily in Key Stage 1. Every child is heard to read in this manner and explicitly taught the skills needed to develop their reading further.

Other reading opportunities take place throughout the day including: whole class shared reading, story time when real and interactive books are shared and cross-curricular reading opportunities.

Home Reading Books

In EY and KS1, we use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme.  This is supported by on-line texts at Oxford Owls and supplemented by a range books from Bug Club, Usborne Early Readers, BBC Active, Project X and Rigby. Some pupils with SEND access the Jelly and Bean series with the support of our SEND teacher. Our reading books are colour coded according to the book banding system. Until they are decoding at Phase 5, the books children take home are entirely phonetically decodable. Children are regularly read with 1:1 to ensure they are reading books of an appropriate level. Parents and school staff fill in a home-school reading record each time a child is read with. Each class also visits the library weekly and all children take home a school library book.