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At Haslemere Primary School we believe that for all our children to become fluent readers and writers, phonics must be taught through a systematic and structured phonics programme.

We plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons which teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing. Our phonics teaching starts in Nursery and follows a specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover.  At Haslemere, we have a language rich curriculum with a strong focus on the development of language skills for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.


How do we teach phonics at Haslemere?

  • In the nursery, the focus is on daily oral blending and language development through high quality stories and rhymes.
  • In reception and Y1, phonics is taught daily and there is a review session on a Friday.
  • Phonics starts in reception in week 2 to ensure the children make a strong start.
  • By the end of reception, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 4.
  • By the end of year 1, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 5.
  • Reception lessons start at 15 minutes, with daily additional oral blending – increasing to 30 minutes as soon as possible.
  • Y1 lessons are 30 minutes long.
  • In Y2-Y4, phonic lessons are taught daily to children where appropriate – plugging specific gaps identified through assessment.
  • In Y2-Y6 there are planned phonic ‘catch-up’ sessions which address specific reading/writing gaps.

What are ‘reading practice sessions’?

  • Children across reception, year 1, year 2 (and beyond if appropriate) apply their phonics knowledge by using a fully matched decodable book in a small group reading practice session.
  • These sessions are 15 minutes long and happen three times a week. There are approximately 6 children in a group.

How do we assess phonic knowledge?

  • In reception and year 1, at the end of each week there is a review session which recaps the learning. There are also whole review weeks (pre-planned and bespoke review weeks to address gaps identified by the class teacher’s ongoing formative assessment).
  • Children identified in reception and Y1 as in danger of falling behind are immediately identified and daily ‘keep up’ sessions are put in place.
  • In reception and year 1, the children are assessed at the end of every half term using the Phonics Tracker assessment package.
  • The children in Y1 sit the statutory Phonics Screening Check in the summer term.
  • Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Y1, will re-sit this in Y2.
  • Children who are in Y2-Y6 and need ‘catch up’ sessions are assessed through teacher’s ongoing formative assessment as well as half termly summative assessments using Phonics Tracker.

How can you help at home?

  • It is imperative that families support a love of books in the home.  Read to your child as often as possible, at least 3 times a week.
  • Take your child to the library and share in the joy of choosing new books.
  • When they begin reading books to you, keep it positive and give them lots of praise.  Initially, don’t make them read for any longer than 10 minutes at a time.
  • The more they practise using their phonics to read books, the more ‘automatic’ it will become.  ‘Little and often’ is the key!

What websites can you use to support your child’s learning?



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