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"The early years provision is exemplary and as such, children are extremely well prepared for learning in Year 1... Pupils are exceptionally well prepared for life in modern Britain... Adults go about their work with energy and enthusiasm... Leaders’ work to develop pupils’ talents, interests and character is exceptional... Pupils thrive at Somers Park Primary School." Ofsted, July 2022
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Somers Park Primary School

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Phonics and Early Reading

Reading and Phonics at Somers Park Primary School


At Somers Park Primary School we teach reading in many different ways, but our main focus is synthetic phonics. Phonics is an approach to teaching reading and spelling that enables a child to identify, blend and segment the individual 'phonemes' or sounds that combine to form words.


The term synthetic phonics refers to the direct, systematic and usually swift teaching of the phonic code; blending for reading and segmenting for spelling. The materials and resources that we use to do this are from the phonics programme Read, Write Inc. The children learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts and rhymes. These sounds enable children to initially blend the sounds together to read.



In Read, Write Inc. we use pure sounds (m not muh,s not suh, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily. Please see the following video clips to support with pure sounds:


Watch this clip to hear the sounds:

Phonics in Reception

Children in Reception spend 20 minutes a day practising recall of sounds, learning new sounds and applying this learning to reading and spelling. Sounds and their matching rhymes can be found below (Set 1 and Set 2/3 sounds). 


Your child’s teacher assesses your child’s reading skills and matches their reading books accordingly.


In Reception, Read, Write Inc books are changed every Friday and it is expected that the books are read at least three times across the week. Sharing books are sent home every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Sharing books are for parents to read to their child; these books develop imagination, language, vocabulary and comprehension.


Phonics homework is sent home each Friday to be completed by the following Wednesday. It will only consist of sounds and red words that have already been taught in class. You may practice the sounds and red words using a range of different techniques and methods such as mark making in flour, red word bingo or even hunt the sound in the house! We welcome photographs of more adventurous homework to share with the class. We do ask that homework completed in books is done so in pencil and please encourage your child to write on the lines where possible.


Phonics in Key Stage 1

In the Summer Term, children in Year 1 undertake a Phonics Screening Check. This is a statutory test set by the government and delivered to all children across the United Kingdom in the same week by a qualified teacher. Children are given 20 words and 20 pseudo-words (nonsense) made up of the 44 sounds children learn within Read, Write Inc. The results of these tests are published nationally and highlighted to parents at the end of the academic year. Children who do not achieve the pass mark will continue to have focused phonic teaching until they crack the phonics code! Further information about the Phonics Screening Check can be found here: Phonics Screening Tests - Year 1 Phonics Tests [2012-2021] - Free Downloads


The Read, Write Inc reading scheme is designed to reinforce sounds taught in sessions and build on confidence and fluency through repetition and revisiting of texts.


We ask all children across the school to read at home as often as possible. Your child is supplied with a reading diary to keep school informed of your child’s reading journey.


We hope that this guidance enables you to have a clear picture of the journey of reading in and out of school. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to talk to your child’s teacher.