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Foulds School


When children begin Reception at Foulds, they and their families tell us that they are looking forward to learning to read and write! In order to become the lifelong learners that we want them to be, our children must become confident readers and writers. Phonics is the key to unlocking the written word for our pupils, allowing them to access new vocabulary, ideas and knowledge. Our children come to Reception from a wide range of preschool settings with widely differing experiences of Phonics teaching and phonological awareness, so it is important that our Phonics curriculum offers us consistency and high-quality teaching opportunities, with flexibility to adapt to suit the needs of our children. Our Phonics teaching builds from our children’s starting points, driving them towards academic success, whilst shaping them to have the essential knowledge and skills that prepares them for their futures. Children will leave Key Stage One with the Phonics skills needed to access the wider curriculum. Where there have been barriers to acquiring the skills to read (the bottom 20%), these children will be supported to become successful readers and writers. 


  • At Foulds we use Supersonic Phonic Friends (based on Letters and Sounds). This is a systematic and consistent approach that also allows flexibility to suit the needs of our school.
  • All Phonics learning builds on phonological awareness and sound discrimination: during transition into Reception, Phonics teaching revisits Phase One Phonological awareness. Our children come from a wide range of preschool settings, so this brief yet vital stage ensures we identify any gaps in children’s learning, introduces the learning behaviours and routines of daily Phonics lessons and ensures a firm foundation for learning grapheme-phoneme correspondence, blending and segmenting. 
  • Once children are settled in Reception (usually just before or after October half-term), children in Reception are ready to build on their listening skills and are introduced to Phase Two. 
  • Discrete Phonics lessons take place daily in Reception and Year One, four times a week in Year Two. 
  • Lessons follow a four part structure: revising previous learning, teaching of new graphemes/phonemes, practising this new learning and then applying what has been learned. Children learn the 44 phonemes that make the sounds needed to read and spell.
  • Children are initially taught single letter sounds, building up to digraphs (two letter sounds) and trigraphs (three letter sounds) within simple words. As children progress through Phonics teaching and gain confidence, words become more difficult, building to include words with adjacent consonants and more than one syllable. 
  • Phonetically decodable books are introduced in Reception once children have learned 8-10 sounds, and are linked to the Phonics being taught. These books are sent home to allow the children to practise applying their Phonic knowledge.
  • Written work in Phonics lessons is not recorded or kept as ‘evidence’. Its purpose is to rehearse, practise, apply and embed learning, while also allowing staff to undertake formative assessment as part of the lesson.    
  • Teachers and support staff assess as part of daily Phonics sessions, so that gaps can be addressed quickly and effectively. These assessments inform teachers of the progress that children have made and allow staff to target interventions effectively and adapt provision if necessary to meet the needs of our children. Targeted interventions (particularly for the bottom 20%) alongside high quality teaching ensure that no children are left behind. 
  • At the end of Key Stage One, the Phonics Check takes place to assess how many children have met the expected level of achievement.


Through the teaching of systematic Phonics, children become confident and enthusiastic readers by the end of Key Stage One. Children can then focus on developing fluency and comprehension throughout the school. The bottom 20% are identified quickly and supported to make rapid progress, ensuring that children are not left behind. As a result, children are able to access and achieve in all other areas of learning. Through their sound phonics knowledge, our children learn to become confident readers and writers, unlocking the wider curriculum and indeed the wider world to them. As a school, our children achieve highly in the Phonics Check. However, we firmly believe that being literate is the key to all learning and so the impact goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.