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Subject leader: Mrs K Mortimer


At Sacred Heart Primary School, our aims are: 

  • to develop and nurture a love of reading in all children, 

  •  to establish a cohesive, systematic approach in the teaching and learning of phonics across the school,  

  • to ensure that children learn to read, write and blend all 44 sounds in the English language, 

  • to ensure that systematic synthetic phonics is the first approach pupils use to help with their reading and spelling, 

  • to ensure children have specific strategies to read and spell common exception words,  

  • for the children to apply their phonics knowledge when reading and writing across the whole curriculum,  

  • to have robust assessment procedures to check progress and identify pupils in need of intervention. 



At Sacred Heart Primary School, we use the DfE approved systematic, synthetic phonics (SSP) programme Twinkl Phonics to ensure children are given high quality teaching. Twinkl Phonics uses stories, games and actions to provide an engaging and multi-sensory approach. The scheme follows a clear progression, which builds on the children’s skills daily.  


Each lesson follows a 5-part structure: 

  • Revisit and Review – Children review previously taught GPCs (grapheme-phoneme correspondence) and common exception words.  

  • Teach – New GPCs and common exception words are introduced. 

  • Practise – Practise blending and segmenting words using the new GPCs. 

  • Apply – Read or write a caption or sentence using the new GPCs or common exception words.  

  • Assess – Assess children’s learning and create an action plan. 


Phonics is taught daily to all Reception and Year 1 children. Phonics also forms part of the continuous provision for children in Reception to access, in addition to their discrete phonics lessons. We use both individual and guided reading to teach reading alongside phonics. In Year 2, the children graduate from the Twinkl Phonics scheme to the Twinkl Planit spelling scheme. 


We continually assess the children's progress in daily phonics lessons, in order to identify any children in need of support. Where necessary, interventions are provided for children, including those retaking the phonics screening check in Year 2 and pupils in Key Stage 2. We use Phonics Tracker in Reception and Year 1 to record progress half termly. Reading with a teacher/teaching assistant should also inform assessments on children’s GPC recognition, segmenting and blending skills. We also use the Phonics Screening Check, taken in the summer term of Year 1 to identify any children in need of further support. 


Children will apply their phonics knowledge to their early reading and writing across the curriculum.  

Pupils will improve their confidence when reading and spelling unfamiliar words. 

Children will access more complex texts and will develop their enjoyment and positive attitudes towards reading.  

We aim for children to pass the Phonics Screening Check, taken in the summer term of Year 1, and to be fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1.