Early Reading Approach Worsbrough Common Primary

Synthetic phonics has been proven to be the most effective approach to developing early reading proficiency and at Worsborough Common we believe this is the best way to introduce children to the joy of reading.
Throughout school we strive to encourage a rounded approach to reading where phonics skills are applied to increase fluency and improve comprehension. Our reading books are levelled to match the progression in phonics in order to offer children a range of fiction and non-fiction texts to challenge them at an appropriate level to ensure accelerated learning.
In Nursery children are provided with a weekly story book to share at home. alongside these books are suggested questions for children to discuss as an early start to comprehension. In FS1 children will be first provided with Lilac 'wordless' story books to continue developing these skills, discussing the events of the story through questioning by adults. They will then begin phase 2 phonics.



Parents are partners in their child’s educational journey and are invited to phonics training sessions when their child joins Foundation Stage and again when they join Year 1. These sessions are used to support parents in gaining knowledge and understanding of how phonics is taught so that they have the skills to support phonics and early reading and writing at home.
We follow letters and sounds a phoneme-led system that enables all children to make connections between the phonemes they hear and the graphemes that represent these. We have developed a consistent approach across the school that utilises a range of resources and pedagogy based on the Letters and Sounds system but is adapted to suit the needs of our pupils.
Daily phonics sessions are introduced in FS1, with a focus on listening games and distinguishing between sounds. We understand that these skills are vital and should continue to be developed throughout KS1 and KS2. This skill develops children’s abilities to listen to, make, explore and talk about sounds.
At Worsbrough Common we teach new phonemes and graphemes following the six phases of Letters and Sounds. Phase 1 focuses on tuning into sounds, listening and remembering sounds and talking about sounds. Children are then introduced to phonemes and graphemes through the remaining five phases.

Phase 2 and 3 phonemes are taught in the following order.

Children then begin Phase 4 phonics which teaches them to blend two or three adjacent consonants at the beginning, middle and end of words whilst consolidating the sounds taught previously.
The purpose of phase 5 phonic is for children to broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant.
At Phase 6 many children will be reading longer and less familiar texts independently and with increasing fluency. The shift from learning to read to reading to learn takes place and children read for information and for pleasure.

We introduce High Frequency and Irregular words in the following order through phonics teaching. These words will be sent home to learn alongside reading books

Phase 2
Phase 3
Phase 4
Phase 5

Common exception words are taught in Year 1 and Year 2 and are assessed for both reading and writing at the formal school assessment points.

Year 1 Common Exception Words
Year 2 Common Exception Words
As children build up their knowledge of sounds they are able to apply their decoding skills to any unfamiliar word may it be real or nonsense. During lessons children practice their decoding skills by sounding out the letters in ‘alien words/ nonsense words’. Children are unable to rely on existing knowledge of real words, and instead have to use their grapheme-phoneme knowledge.
At WCPS we believe an understanding of technical language is important and should be modelled by those teaching phonics sessions. Children are introduced to and encouraged to use the correct terminology when discussing phonics.
Key vocabulary used through the teaching of phonics are:
  • Blend - to draw individual sounds together to read a word e.g s-n-a-p blended together reads snap
  • Segment - to split up a word into its individual phonemes to spell it e.g cat has three phonemes /c/, /a/, /t/
  • Cluster - two or three letters making two or three sounds e.g the first three letters of straight are a consonant cluster
  • Grapheme - a letter or group of letters which represent one sound
  • Phoneme - a unit of sound in speech
  • Digraph - a combination of two letters representing one sound
  • Trigraph - a combination of three letters representing one sound
Our aims are that all children should use phonics as their primary strategy for decoding words in order to read and subsequently use this strong foundation and other strategies in order to develop a life-long love for reading.


Created with images by Josh Applegate - "untitled image" • MI PHAM - "Cao Lãnh little girl" • Annie Spratt - "Child reading a book" • Josh Applegate - "untitled image" • Jacek Szczyciński - "untitled image" • Annie Spratt - "Guess How Much I Love You" • Sandy Millar - "untitled image"