At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, synthetic phonics is taught as the main approach to early reading.

Phonics is a fun, multi-sensory approach and linked with a range of reading resources.

Initially children learn to listen attentively for sounds and rhythms and then they begin to learn the sounds of single letters. They learn to blend these sounds into words (for example h-a-t would make hat). Children are taught how to decode and segment sounds in words in order that they can read and write more efficiently.

We continue to use the Letters and Sounds program throughout Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), working systematically through the different stages, up to Phase 6. By this time child will have developed a secure grasp of complicated letter strings which enables them to decode two and three syllable words. Reading evolves from learning to read, to reading to learn.

Some words, which cannot be phonetically sounded out, are taught at each phase. These are ‘tricky words’ and are taught through sight recognition.

Oxford Owl is a free website to help you support your child with reading at home. It includes a phonics guide (including how to say the sounds correctly), ideas for motivating boys to read and great ideas to keep your child reading throughout the holidays. There are also reading games and activities.?

We provide workshops at school to support parents and provide them with information and activities to help their child at home. Look out for dates when these will take place in the year.