St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School

Spirituality, Aspiration, Innovation, Diversity


Phonics Vision Statement


At St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School we understand the key to teaching phonics is to know what your end goal is – confident, fluent readers.  We aim to develop each child so that they are able to read with fluency as well as nurture a love of reading that will stay with our children all their lives.  Being able to read is the most important skill children will learn during their first years at school and has far-reaching implications for lifelong confidence and well-being.  We follow the Letters and Sounds Programme to deliver the highest quality phonics lessons with the aim that all children are able to read by the age of 6.  All children learn the 44 sounds and are able to read, write and blend them so that they have the toolkit to decode words successfully and aid comprehension.


What is our approach to Phonics?

Our approach to phonics is systematic, discrete, multi-sensory, interactive, engaging and differentiated. Every class in Reception and Key Stage 1 will teach phonics as a discrete lesson every day and will include phonics as part of teaching and learning throughout the other areas of the curriculum on a daily basis.  We recognise that “one size doesn’t fit all” so we have selected, what we deem to be, the best techniques and resources to maximise the effectiveness of phonics teaching.  We follow the model of the Department for Education’s Letters and Sounds programme and we use a number of other resources including Read, Write Inc Flashcards and handwriting rhymes as resources to support this.

The Letters and Sounds Programme maps out a series of steps through a systematic approach as detailed below. Each child is taught:

  • the grapheme‒phoneme correspondences for initial sounds in a systematic sequence;
  • to blend sounds in a word to read it
  • to segment a word into its constituent phonemes to spell
  • digraphs, trigraphs and split trigraphs
  • alternative graphemes
  • fluency and comprehension.

Assessments take place every half term and gaps in their learning inform us of any interventions needed.  Children are then divided into ability based groups.

What does our approach to Phonics look like in the classroom?

  • Engaging routines involving a range of resources,  appropriate for the level at which the children are working, are established.
  • All lessons have a clear learning objective which is linked to the phase of letters and sounds that the group are working on.
  • New phonemes will be taught using the correct articulation and terminology and all children will use this terminology in their learning. E.g, phonemes, digraphs, trigraphs, split-digraph etc.
  • Lessons follow the structure outlined below through the teaching of skills:

REVISIT & REVIEW: Revise previously taught sounds and graphemes using flashcards and/or frieze/interactive resources.

TEACH: Introduce new sound and grapheme using flashcards, frieze and the interactive resources.

PRACTISE: Pupils practise new and revised sounds and graphemes using interactive resources, whiteboards, magnetic tiles or activity sheets.

APPLY: Pupils extend their core skills with words and sentences.

  • Misconceptions will be addressed and feedback given throughout the lesson to individuals to aid progression. If necessary, children will be given extensions to learning opportunities for children to apply phonemes in context.
  • Other adults will model and demonstrate new learning with groups/individual children.
  • Outcomes to learning will be demonstrated in a variety of ways depending on the

strategy or learning opportunity. For example, multi-sensory resources will support learning in a practical way but there will also be opportunities to rehearse and explore writing of key phonemes and words.

  • Each child has their own ‘St Francis of Assisi Primary School Phase 2- 5 Letters and Sounds Assessment’ tracker, which is updated every half-term and continues to be updated as the child moves through school.
  • Groups are fluid with composition changing based on ongoing observation and half termly assessments.
  • Texts increase in difficulty as children move through the Letters and Sounds Programme.


How do we measure success in Phonics?

We use Phonics Tracker to record progress for both individuals and groups each half-term and adjust teaching according to need. We also use the Phonics Screening Check and Year 2 Reading Assessments to measure impact.

For the Long Vision Statement, please see links below.

Plans coming soon.