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St Edward'sRoman Catholic Primary School


Key Stage 1 Phonics Scheme


Here at St Edward’s reading is taught through systematic synthetic phonics.


The core SSP Phonics / Reading scheme in place is Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS), a validated Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) scheme from Oxford University Press which links directly to our Oxford Reading Tree books and supplemented with Oxford Owl online/electronic reading books. Pupil reading books focus on decoding words which include common phonemes and unfamiliar phoneme patterns so that they can read with fluency and accuracy.


Once fluency and accuracy becomes automated, children then move on to real books usually chosen from a selection of genres from their class and school libraries.  These books challenge reading stamina, reading comprehension and most importantly develop a love of reading which lasts a life time.


The importance of understanding the story or information in a book is always emphasised and the vital aspect of loving and enjoying books and reading is highlighted above all, so children want to learn to read and have a thoroughly rewarding experience.


We establish a partnership between home and school, whereby parents can support their child with their reading through a range of books from a variety of reading schemes


Phonics Provision


What is Phonics ?

Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) means that children learn to read and write, not only by knowing an individual letter phoneme (sound) or shape (grapheme), but also by knowing that phonemes and graphemes can combine to make new phonemes within words.

The letter combinations are taught at brisk pace in throughout Foundation Stage and Year 1 and reinforced along with spelling patterns in Year 2, so that children can apply them to work out a wide variety of words while still in the early years of school.


At our school, all children in Reception and Year 1 follow structured teaching in Systematic Synthetic Phonics through the Essential Letters and Sounds programme.


Reception children are taught individual letter sounds which can be blended and segmented to read and write simple words, thus becoming independent readers after the first initial letters are taught. This is then built on through the teaching of phonemes, diagraphs and trigraphs towards the middle and end of Reception through into Year 1, so that children can read and write both familiar and unfamiliar phonetic word patterns.


At the end of Year 1, all children take the National Phonics Check Assessment. Some children may also sit this assessment at the end of Year 2.


For those children who need additional help and support to develop their phonological understanding, small support groups is used to reinforce class learning.  






How can I help my child?


To best support your child when they are learning to read, we suggest that you read the decodable text provided by the school 4 times across the week. Spending 10 minutes a day reading with your child will hugely support them in their journey to becoming an independent reader.

Another key way to support your child it to read to them too! Share exciting and engaging books and stories with them.

It is a key part of learning to read that children re-read words and sentences that they can decode (sound out) until they are fluent (read with ease and precision). By reading texts several times children have the greatest opportunity to achieve this fluency.

The texts sent home by your child’s school are carefully matched to the teaching taking place. Your child will be practising what they have been taught in school with you at home. Your child should be able to decode and read their phonics book independently, though they may need some support with blending at the beginning of their reading journey. There will be some words that are not decodable, we call these ‘harder to read and spell’, you can help your child with these words when they are reading.


Pronouncing the Pure Sounds


When children are learning to read, to enable them to blend sounds together to form words, we need to pronounce the sound clearly.

eBook Library for Letters and Sounds

The eBook Library for Letters and Sounds is a step-by-step synthetic phonics teaching framework. The eBook Library for Letters and Sounds contains 100 books precisely matched to each of the phonics teaching Sets. It means that your child can enjoy reading books that practise the exact grapheme-phoneme correspondences that they have just been taught by their teacher. 

Struggling to access the eBook Library for letters and sounds? Take a look at our guides on how to help your child use the Oxford Owl student area here.

The children in reception have been working hard on reading and sounding out CVC words