Phonics & Early Reading




At South Molton Community Primary School, we believe that reading is an integral part of the school curriculum and a fundamental life skill that impacts on all learning. We are dedicated to ensuring that our children become enthused, engaged and successful readers. It is our aim that every child will love reading and want to read for themselves as this has a significant impact on children’s progress and attainment across the curriculum. We teach our children to be inquisitive readers, provoking thought, leading to children who enjoy asking questions about the texts they are reading; allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of what they have read.


 At the heart of this is early reading, striving to ensure our children develop their phonetical skills which leads them to read accurately and fluently. We follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonics program, striving to teach children to read effectively and quickly. This programme has a clear progression of skills and understanding that includes teaching synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary (tricky words), decoding and encoding word, accurate letter formation and spelling. Our structure of teaching letter sounds is derived from the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme which outlines six phonic phases, each with new phonemes to be learnt that increase with difficulty as you progress from phase one to six.


We are passionate that from Reception to Year 2, there should be daily phonics lessons and as the children move to KS2 the phonics lessons graduate to spelling patterns, having at least three spelling lessons a week.  It is our firm belief that teaching children to read and write independently, as quickly as possible, is one of the core aims of a primary school.  Phonics and early reading provides fundamental skills that not only hold the keys to the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future educational/life prospects.  Using the Letters and Sounds program we teach children to:

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding

  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information

  • Make links continually throughout lessons at all levels and to prior learning

  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

  • Give pupils time to reflect and discuss their own learning from that session; what have you learnt today?

  • Time for children to practise their new knowledge with success.