Working in partnership to ensure that every child’s success is at the heart of all we do

Phonics and Reading at RPS

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Our Aims:

At Radcliffe Primary School we believe that reading is a skill which is best taught through planned, systematic phonics lessons. This leads to the enjoyment of all kinds of books, the appreciation of different genres and the ability to access information independently. Through their own reading, we hope that children will develop their individual tastes in literature and be able to understand and justify their own choice of books.

Our primary aims are:

  • To develop phonetic skills which lead to blending and reading fluently.
  • To promote confidence and positive attitudes to reading.
  • To promote and encourage good home/school links using a wide range of literature.
  • To equip children with the critical skills they need to be able to analyse what they read.
  • To give children access to a wide range of fiction and information books.
  • To monitor each child’s progress through the use of a range of assessment strategies e.g. Phonics assessment, Benchmark Reading tests, on-going guided reading observations.
  • To support those who are progressing slowly in acquiring reading skills through a personalised reading program.

Our Approach:

At Radcliffe Primary we follow the Letters and Sounds approach to teaching Phonics, supplemented with additional resources such as Bug Club. Our approach is systematic, consistent and rigorous in order that all children become readers as quickly as possible.

Phonics sessions take place daily throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1, with transition in Year 3 as needed.

Children are taught in ability groups within their year group. This enables them to be taught according to their phonics/reading level. Teaching is very precise and tailored to the needs of each child.

The alphabetic code is taught first with children learning new sounds and practising pronouncing and blending these sounds on a daily basis. Simple mnemonics help the children grasp the letter sounds quickly. Following this we match the sounds pupils know to the books they read encouraging confidence as well as a number of other skills such as using initial sounds to identify more difficult words. Additionally children hear and learn lots of stories in school which helps to increase their story knowledge and vocabulary.

In the Summer term of Year 1 our children take part in the National Phonics Screening Test. Where our children pass this test, they move onto learning spelling rules within Spelling Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) in Year 2. Where our children do not pass the phonics screening test or where we have any concerns about their progress or development in reading or any other area of learning, then specific reading and phonics interventions are implemented to help to raise their attainment.  The Special Educational Needs Coordinator and English Coordinator are available to support staff in which interventions are most appropriate to support our children.  Those children who do not pass the phonics test in Year 1 take it again when they are in Year 2.


Guided reading sessions take place throughout the school. These sessions are where targeted teaching takes place. They are conducted in small groups and are planned according to the stage of reading each child in the group is at. There is a focus on book etiquette and early reading skills as well as encouraging the children to understand what they have read through planned, quality inferential questioning. The emphasis on inferential questioning increases as the reading level of the child progresses.


Our guided reading resources are made up of books from Rigby Stars, reading related to topic work and texts to reinforce learning during English lessons e.g. if children are studying non-chronological reports in English, then their guided reading materials may be non-chronological reports, to deepen the child’s understanding.


Home- school reading books are a mixture of phonetically decodable books and books to encourage high frequency words. Decodable books are used first to encourage segmenting and blending skills. Once children have gained confidence, in this area they access books containing more high frequency words.


Children from Reception to Year 6 may access Bug Club at home, , this is an online reading scheme, where children are allocated reading books at their individual reading level. Whilst reading, children are asked a range of questions that further develop their skills: assessment data from their responses are sent electronically to their teachers to inform future planning.



RWI guidance for parents set 1 sounds

RWI guidance for parents 2021 set 2 3 sounds