Reading Cloud
Easy USO
Reading Cloud
Easy USO







We want children at Horsenden:

  • To benefit from a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics from entry into the school in Foundation Stage 1.
  • To enjoy the discreet teaching of phonics utilising a synthetic approach to phonics.
  • To have a regular access to high quality phonics teaching which secures the crucial skills of word recognition that enables children to read fluently, freeing them to concentrate on the meaning of the text.
  • To enjoy a multi-sensory approach to learning phonics ensuring that the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles of the children are engaged
  • To have secured automatic decoding skills allowing them to progress from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’


Teaching and Learning of phonics at Horsenden

  •  It is part of a broad and rich curriculum that engages children in a range of activities and experiences to develop their speaking and listening skills and phonological awareness. Phonics is also taught discretely from FS1 to Year 2.
  • We engage parents in the teaching of phonics via regular parent workshops within the school day, support resources and newsletters.
  • The teaching of phonics is multi-sensory and engaging.
  • It is systematic and fast paced ensuring that the great majority of children are confident readers by the end of Key Stage 1.
  • The phonic sounds taught must be ‘pure’ ie ‘b’ not ‘buh’ (pronunciation guides are recommended to staff, volunteers and parents)
  • The 2 phonics schemes used are Ruth Miskin’s Read Write Inc and the DFEs Letters and Sounds.
  • It is taught daily, where appropriate, discretely and at a brisk pace.
  • There are opportunities to reinforce and apply phonic knowledge and skills across the curriculum in activities such as shared and one to one reading.
  • Children’s attainment is carefully assessed to ensure progression. Phonics is taught as an integral part of reading and writing with children taught:


           Grapheme-phonemes in a clearly defined sequence

           To blend (synthesise) sounds (phonemes) in order all through a word

           To segment words into phonemes for spelling

           That blending and segmenting are reversible processes


Organisation of phonics at Horsenden


Foundation Stage 1


When children enter foundation stage1 there is a wealth of continuous provision to support the development of children as readers. Children have the opportunity to enjoy books, rhymes, songs, play with letter shapes within a literacy rich environment. Focussed activities based on Phase 1 of the ‘Letters and Sounds’ program supports children in differentiating sounds.


At the beginning of the summer Term parents are invited to a workshop introducing ‘Ruth Miskin phonics’, where they have the opportunity to learn about the stages and skills of phonics learning and how they can best support their child at home.


When appropriate children are introduced to Ruth Miskin Speed Sounds 1.


Foundation Stage 2


During the initial weeks, the children revise phase 1 Letters and Sounds with a focus on aspect 4 rhyme and aspect 7 oral blending and segmenting. They begin Ruth Miskin Speed Sounds 1 supported by the Phase 2 Letters and Sounds activities.


Children enjoy a daily discrete phonics session of 15 minutes, with the opportunity to consolidate their learning within their play in the continuous provision of the classroom as well as regular focussed activities. Children continue to use the action mnemonics from Ruth Miskin Speed Sounds and the multi-sensory resources.


The children continue to build on their phoneme knowledge. Blending and now segmenting CVC words and memorising ‘tricky’ words.


Assessment systems are used to track individuals and the cohort to ensure that progress through the ‘Letters and sounds’ phases is appropriately challenging. Children who have been identified through our in-school assessment as a vulnerable group will be given additional small group support.


They then move onto Phase 3 Letters and Sounds and depending on the progress of the cohort, some more confident children will be introduced to phase 4.


In Autumn Term 2015, Miss Borsig and Mrs Bell ran parent and carer  training sessions for each class, to enable parents to use the Ruth Miskin Ditty books confidently with their children.


Year 1


In the first few weeks phase 3 will be revised using Ruth Miskin speed sounds 2 and the activities from Letters and Sounds phase 3. The children then move onto phase 4 and 5 of ‘Letters and Sounds’. They consolidate their knowledge of phonemes and graphemes. They concentrate on being able to:


Blend and read words containing adjacent consonants


Segments and spell words containing adjacent consonants


Read and spell the ‘tricky’ words taught


Write each letter correctly and form each letter correctly


Say the sounds of taught graphemes


Write common graphemes


Apply phonic knowledge and skill as the prime approach to reading and spelling unfamiliar words


Read automatically and spell all the words in the list of 100 high frequency words


Phonics is taught as a discrete lesson, with the opportunity to consolidate their learning through focussed activities.


Careful assessments are taken over the year to ensure that the children are progressing well.


The Year 1 statutory phonics screening check is administered in the second half of the summer term. These results are used to plan all pupils ‘next steps’ in phonic learning.


Year 2


On entering year 2 children should know most of the common grapheme-phoneme correspondences. They should be able to read hundreds of words, doing this in three ways: automatically, decoding silently, decoding aloud. Children’s spelling should be phonemically accurate, although it may still be unconventional at times. This is phase 6 of ‘Letters and Sounds’ and during this phase children should become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers. During this time we would also expect that some children are consolidating their knowledge of phases 4 and 5. Any children that did not reach the required level in the phonics screening test will be placed on a phonics intervention program and re-screened in the following summer term. The teaching of spelling in phase 6 involves introducing the past tense, investigating and learning how to add suffixes, spelling ‘long’ words and finding and learning the difficult bits in words, identifying spelling/phonic ‘families’


Phonics is still taught discreetly with children having the opportunity to consolidate their knowledge through focussed activities.


Assessment continues to ensure that children who are falling behind are targeted with the appropriate intervention.



  • Horsenden Primary School
  • Horsenden Lane North
  • Greenford
  • Middlesex
  • UB6 0PB
  • United Kingdom
  • Tel: 020 8422 5985
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