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Great Horwood Church of England School Where children play, learn and grow together


Reading Intent and Implementation

Great Horwood School Approch to Teaching Phonics and Early Reading

Writing Intent and Implementation

Speaking and Listening Intent and Implementation

Approach to the teaching of Phonics at Great Horwood School in Key Stage 1


The teaching of phonics is an important part of the curriculum in Foundation stage and Key Stage 1.

We follow the National phonics programme, ‘Letters and Sounds’, where children are taught the 44 phonemes that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling.  These phonemes include those made by just one letter and those that are made by two or more (diagraphs and trigraphs). 


Children are also introduced to the ‘Read Write Inc’ letter formation rhymes to support handwriting and rhymes to support learning of digraphs and trigraphs.


As the children move through the scheme and are secure in the first set of sounds, they are introduced to alternative ways of representing the same sound, eg ‘ee’ can be represented as ‘ee’, ‘ea’, ‘e-e’, ‘e’ … 


We ensure that our teaching of phonics is rigorous, structured and enjoyable.  Children have discrete, daily phonics sessions where they are introduced to new phonemes, can practise and revise previous learning and have plenty of opportunities to apply the knowledge they have.


Children work with pace and are encouraged to apply their knowledge across the curriculum with any reading or writing activities.

Within phase 2 children are introduce to alien words, here the children have to use their knowledge of phonics to blend sounds and read the words. Children are taught these by showing an alien picture next to the word to encourage them to blend the sounds they see rather than try and make them real words. Within all phases children are exposed to alien words that contain phoneme from all different phases.


At Great Horwood we use a variety of reading scheme books that are colour coded into bands that the children are able to choose from. This is with adult supervision in Early Years and those working on Phase 1-6 phonics. The teachers will endeavour to ensure that the curent reading book reflects the current phonic phase being taught.  Older Free readers are able to choose books from an appropriate colour band.   


Reading scheme books that are used include: Oxford Reading Tree, Usborne Beginner Books, and Big Cat Phonics.