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Werneth Primary School

Phonics and Reading Schemes

Phonics and Reading Schemes


At Werneth Primary School we strive to ensure that every child is a successful, fluent reader and writer by the end of Key Stage One. We believe that this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with regular, daily opportunities for developing reading skills.

"Phonics teaching is strong, and supports children well in acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge that they need to read." Ofsted 2019

It is a moral imperative that all children learn to read fluently, so that they are able to access the wider curriculum and knowledge of themselves and the world around them at Werneth Primary School and beyond. The teaching of phonics is a key strategy that is used to help our children to read, write and spell.

Following a review of early reading policy and practice in Summer, 2019, the decision was made to use LCP phonics planning alongside Letters and Sounds. This was done to support staff with planning and to accelerate the pace and progression of pupils’ phonological awareness. We also use materials from Jolly Phonics to supplement and support teaching and learning of each of the single letter sounds and some additional graphemes.

Through high quality and consistent phonics teaching, the children develop their reading, writing, spelling and communication skills. Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why, at Werneth Primary School, phonics is emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) as soon as they start school.

Aims for developing early reading and phonics knowledge, skills and understanding:

  • To provide children with the knowledge, skills and understanding to be able to read and write accurately with increasing levels of independence.
  • That all children at Werneth Primary School become skilled word readers, which involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words.
  • That all children have reading skills that grant them access to reading for pleasure, to pursue interests and/or hobbies and to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live. The programmes of study for reading at Key Stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions: word reading and comprehension (both listening and reading). Without children having a secure knowledge and understanding of word reading, they will struggle to comprehend throughout their time in school and this will limit their ability to read widely and to discuss a range of stories, poems and non-fiction texts.
  • For children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1, who develop an appreciation and love of reading and gain knowledge across the curriculum. We endeavour for children to read approximately 90 words per minute – a good indicator of when children start to read with sufficient fluency to focus on their understanding. We acknowledge that some pupils read slower than this while still being able to focus on their understanding (taken from Teacher Assessment Framework- End of Key Stage 1).

Aims of our approach to Phonics:

  • At the earliest possible stage, to teach children aural discrimination, phonemic awareness and rhyme awareness.
  • To teach children to segment and blend so that they are able to decode and understand unfamiliar words, with increasing levels of independence.
  • To recognise common exception words, know that they are not constructed phonetically and be able to read these words confidently on sight in order to support fluent reading.
  • To encourage repetition and consolidation, so that spelling becomes increasingly automatic and children are less likely to experience cognitive overload when reading and/or writing as they progress through school.

We want our children:

  • To learn to identify, read and write all 44 graphemes in the English language.
  • To learn specific strategies to help them remember common exception words.
  • To experience teaching of phonics which is interactive and engaging.
  • To apply their phonic skills in all curriculum areas.
  • As a result of pupils’ high levels of reading fluency, we want our children to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.
  • To be able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.

Please click on the link below for our Phonics Policy:

Phonics Policy

Reading Schemes

From September 2021, we will be using the Collins Big Cat reading scheme for 1:1 reading and as a resource for children to take part in regular reading at home. 

From early phonics development to fluency, Collins Big Cat is a whole-school programme that provides fully decodable books, expertly aligned to Letter and Sounds.

Werneth Primary School staff will use the Big Cat scheme to broaden our children's knowledge and experience of a range of text types, make sure that reading materials are well-matched to learners' needs and foster a love of reading by using hundreds of levelled readers to support guided, independent and 1:1 reading.