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Werneth Primary School

Phonics and Reading

Phonics and Reading Schemes


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. 

Being a fluent and confident reader will support our children to:

-improve their language and communication skills. Through hearing stories and a range of texts, children are exposed to a wide range of words. This helps them to acquire new words, build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read

-learn more about people, places, and events that they might not have any knowledge or experience of. This develops our learners’ cultural capital and gives children a deeper understanding of the world around them- including cultures that are different from their own.

-gain access to the breadth of the curriculum and pursue personal interest- learning more about the subjects that interest them and being able to deepen their knowledge and conceptual understanding in these areas.

-develop their own opinions and views of the world, as well as developing the vocabulary and registers of speech needed to communicate their knowledge, skills, personal views and conceptual understanding.

-become lifelong learners, equipped with the reading skills to satisfy their thirst for knowledge and have the reading skills needed for work and later life

-develop a love of reading and literature.

As such, Reading will always be a very high priority for our children, families and school community.

Please click on the link to see our Reading Policy


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

The teaching of phonics is a key strategy that is used to help our children to read, write and spell.

Please click on the links below to see how you can support your child with Phonics and Reading at home (notes taken from the Parent/Carer workshop by Miss Davenport)

Phonics: A guide for parents and carers

Information from parents'/carer' Phonics workshop

EYFS Phonics games

Decoding strategies to support reading at home

Level 2/Phase 2 high frequency word list

Year 1 and Year 2 common exception word list

Following a recent review of our early reading and phonics provision- in line with the DfE guidance on moving to a validated Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme and taking into consideration the research set out in the Reading Framework- the decision was made to adopt the Twinkl Phonics scheme.

This was done in order to minimise any disruption to each child’s phonics journey, as it is very similar to our previous phonics scheme that includes a multisensory approach to learning phonemes and graphemes. It is a comprehensive resource, which supports staff with the planning and delivery of each lesson in order to accelerate the pace and progression of pupils’ phonological awareness.

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.