Newport Community School Primary Academy

Phonics Statement: Spring 2017

This statement outlines the principles and strategies for teaching synthetic phonics at Newport Community School Primary Academy. This statement also relates to the

Literacy Policy and Teaching and Learning Policy.


  • To have a rigorous, high quality, systematic synthetic phonics programme in place across the school from nursery to year 1.
  • From year 2-year 6, spelling skills are taught through a variety of strategies using their phonics knowledge as a base as they acquire the knowledge of new spelling patterns.
  • To teach phonics through whole class spelling programmes and intervention programmes where required.
  • To deliver synthetic phonics sessions on a daily basis, for up to thirty minutes.
  • To provide baseline assessments for each pupil from which termly progress can be tracked.
  • To deliver grapheme-phoneme (letter-sound) correspondence in a defined and incremental sequence, encouraging children to decode effortlessly.
  • To use a multi sensory approach so that children experience a visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning approach, designed to secure fluent phonic knowledge and skills.
  • To have equal access to phonic knowledge and understanding, providing differentiated phonics and spelling work so that both success and challenge are experienced in learning.
  • To be focused upon children becoming confident speakers, enthusiastic, and literate readers and writers, with fluent, accurate and expressive skills.

Our ultimate aim is for all children to be literate, to foster a love of reading and to share their enjoyment of reading at school and at home.


At Newport Community School Primary Academy we follow the Letters and Sounds programme for teaching and learning synthetic phonics. Pupils will be taught the skills of:

  • Phonological awareness; tuning into sounds, listening and remembering sounds and talking about sounds.
  • Grapheme-phoneme (letter-sound) correspondence needed for reading and writing development. To understand the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words.
  • Blending and segmenting words for reading and writing development.
  • Key understanding and skills required to become fluent readers and spellers:
  • Letters represent sounds
  • Sounds can be spelt with one, two, three, four letters
  • Sounds can be spelt in more than one way

Children are taught phonics within their year group on a daily basis, through the Letters and Sounds phase that is appropriate to their level of learning. In nursery and reception, children will receive a whole class session and more individual, guided sessions to meet the ability needs of the children. In year 1, children will be grouped between the classes so that targeted teaching through ability groups can meet the needs of the whole year group. In year 2, children who did not pass the year 1 phonic screen are provided with small group, bespoke intervention in addition to their whole class spelling sessions.

Phonics sessions are discrete sessions but knowledge and skills that are taught are then applied in literacy and speaking, reading and writing opportunities. The Letters and Sounds programme is complimented and enriched by using other materials and resources to support the teaching and learning of phonics, reading and writing; for example, Jolly Phonics and Phonics Play resources.


Assessment of children’s phonic progress is through the daily phonic session, application during guided reading and writing sessions within literacy lessons, spelling and reading assessments within class and tracking through the phase assessments in the Letters and Sounds programme.


Children’s phonic understanding, skills and progress are monitored through teacher assessment. Most children will make effective progress within the daily taught session but regular assessment identifies if early intervention is required. Additional support or challenge may be organised for children through, smaller groups, higher adult to child ratio in groups, additional guided sessions to apply knowledge and skills or additional sessions to practise skills taught.  Intervention can be led by the Learning Support Teacher, class teachers or teaching assistants.

Home Reading Books

In the Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception) and Key Stage 1, children will take home a book which has words that can be read through applying phonic knowledge and skills (phonetically decodeable) and they will also have a banded reading book. Books shared with the children are from a variety of schemes. In addition, children are encouraged to take a library book home organised by the teacher or parents can visit the school library after school on a Tuesday or Thursday.

The children are given books that cover fiction and non-fiction topics. Teachers are responsible for changing children’s books regularly in nursery to year 1 and this information is shared with parents in the summer and autumn induction meetings with children’s new teachers. Children in year 2 are expected to change their own reading books with prompting from the class teacher.  Parents and children share their reading with teachers through the child’s reading record log.

In Key Stage 2, children continue to read regularly and complete their reading record log. The children focus on higher level skills of comprehension, including inference and deduction skills, using the text effectively to support their views and thoughts on texts.

Parents are invited into school each term, to participate in workshops on how to support reading at home with their child/children.

Helpful links to help support your child at home (some need a subscription and some are free):-

Helpful resources to support your child at home

Jolly Phonics Action Sheet

Phonics Glossary

Phoneme articulation videos

List of taught graphemes