At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, synthetic phonics is taught as the main approach to early reading.

Phonics is a fun, multi-sensory approach and linked with a range of reading resources.

Initially children learn to listen attentively for sounds and rhythms and then they begin to learn the sounds of single letters. They learn to blend these sounds into words (for example h-a-t would make hat). Children are taught how to decode and segment sounds in words in order that they can read and write more efficiently.

We continue to use the Letters and Sounds program throughout Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), working systematically through the different stages, up to Phase 5. By this time child will have developed a secure grasp of complicated letter strings which enables them to decode two and three syllable words. Reading evolves from learning to read, to reading to learn.

Some words, which cannot be phonetically sounded out, are taught at each phase. These are ‘tricky words’ and are taught through sight recognition.

We are in the process of transitioning to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme, which will be implemented in the Spring Term 2022.