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Blidworth Oaks

Primary School

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Children start our own systematic phonics programme as soon as they enter our school. Some children will require more support to learn to read than others and we invest in the time and resources that give children any additional support they require despite their age.


When children first start school, they play games and do activities to activate their eyes and ears. In order for children to be able to discriminate between different letter shapes or different sounds (many of which look or sound very similar e.g. b,d and p are all essentially ‘balls and sticks’ and the sound m and n not only look similar, but also sound similar too) they need plenty of opportunities to experience things that are similar but different.


When they are ready, children will learn the sounds different letters (or groups of letters) make. They are taught a word and an action to go with each sound which gives children a hook to help them remember. They also learn a saying to help them write the letter correctly.


This is consistent across school.


Children are also taught to blend sounds together in order to read words, e.g. m-a-n = man. For some children this comes quite naturally, but for others it will take lots of modelling before they can hear words.


When children are able to blend sounds together they are given a phonetically decodable book. Children with these books should be able to read them by using their phonic knowledge with minimal support. The practise page at the front of each book is really important to go through before the child starts to read as it will build confidence before they attempt to read.


As children progress through the phonic phases, the decodable books reflect this increase in knowledge. Children are also give access to e-books which match their phonic level to give them additional opportunities to practise their skill as well as giving parents more flexibility.  For example, children could read their e-book on a parent’s phone whilst at a siblings swimming lessons.