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Watlington Primary School

Primary School

Phonics and Reading

Our approach to reading is based on the teaching of synthetic phonics, using Letters and Sounds as a base.



Phonics teaching starts in reception with phase 2 Letters and Sounds. Children learn both the sound and the grapheme at the same time, building up on knowledge of sounds, practicing blending and segmenting to decode and understand the meaning of the words on the page.


Phonics teaching continues into year 1 and year 2. At the end of Year 1 children take the statutory Phonics Screening Test, retaking it in Year 2 if they have not already achieved the threshold pass rate the previous year.


Within KS2 phonics support continues for those in need of this intervention.



The school believes that children exposed to books and being read to at an early age is important for a child’s understanding of the written word. For those who have had little exposure to reading in Reception they have the opportunity to share picture books, with no words initially, so that children can understand the process or reading, turning pages and going from left to right.


During early reading, reception use Project Phonics, Phonics Bugs and Big Cat schemes to underpin and complement the letters and sounds phonics scheme. These schemes allow for a gentle progression of decoding and comprehension to ensure children can read and understand texts for meaning. From Year 1 children use two main reading schemes: Oxford Reading Tree and Big Cat.


We have also started using a Talk4Writing approach which allows children to understand, act out and know a story well before developing it further. This approach is known as the 3Is - imitation, invention and innovation.


If you would like to know further about our reading and phonics schemes, please come and ask.