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Archbishop Cranmer CofE Primary Academy Striving for life in all its fullness. John 10: 10



Phonics is taught daily across Key Stage One and Foundation Stage. We use Bug Club Phonics, supported by Jolly Phonics actions to deliver sessions. This systematic synthetic phonics approach to teaching adopts a balanced approach to the teaching of reading which simultaneously teaches segmentation of words for spelling and develops phonemic awareness skills. Our high-quality approach to teaching phonics enables our pupils to become fluent and confident readers by Year 2, where they are masters of applying their phonics knowledge and skills as the prime approach to reading and spelling unfamiliar words that are not completely decodable. 


Once pupils are secure in Phonics up to Phase 5, pupils in Year 2 begin Phase 6 Phonics, which is taught using Spelling Play as the foundations for planning to teach the children spelling patterns and rules through interactive and engaging rhymes and visual prompts which support the development of spelling rules as outlined in the National Curriculum.


Decodable Books:

To support our pupils with being able to apply their phonetic knowledge to fluently blend words for reading, pupils in Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2* are provided with 1-2 Decodable Books to read with an adult at home. Our phonetically decodable books are carefully matched to each individual pupils concrete phonetic knowledge so that they only include sounds and 'tricky words' that they have learnt so dar to ensure that they have 95% word accuracy. This means that they can use their phonics knowledge to be successful and read independently. Pupils have access to a range of books from quality publishers including Oxford Reading Tree, Jolly Phonics and Bug Club. Children also each have a log in to Bug Club Phonics' online portal, 'ActiveLearn', where eBooks and phonics games have been assigned by their class teacher to support progress and also parents in subject knowledge and questioning around the book.


Pupils are encouraged to read their Decodable Books 2-3 times before being changed by a member of staff in school. This repeated reading and practise is recognised at Archbishop Cranmer as being key to supporting children in becoming successful readers by improving fluency and allowing them to further explore reading with intonation and expression.


These books are sent home in a labelled zipper wallet. Decodable Books have a white sticker on the front cover in the top-right corner and will say which 'Phonics Phase' they are banded to.


*Once pupils are secure in their reading skills, in line with in-school phonics assessments, children will not need to access Decodable Books, unless they are receiving additional support with their reading. At Archbishop Cranmer we expect that therefore most Year 2 and Key Stage 2 pupils will not need to access these books.


Reading for Pleasure Books

To support our pupils in practising and consolidating their word reading skills, deepen their comprehension skills and foster a love of reading, pupils across school take home 1-2 Reading for Pleasure Books. These rich, quality books are not fully decodable and should always be read with an adult at home or at school. We also encourage pupils to re-read these books to build fluency and stamina, as well as their comprehension skills, as recommended in the National Curriculum (2014).


Our Reading for Pleasure books have coloured bands and we encourage our pupils and their parents to change these books as frequently as they like. 

  • As pupils in Foundation and Year 1 develop the fluency and phonetic autonomy required for reading texts independently, they will be able to enjoy taking home a range of these books to share with an adult. At this stage in their development, pupils will receive a range of coloured books as they build the skills to be able to be accurately assessed for independent reading. 
  • In Year 1, as appropriate to their reading progress, in Year 2 and beyond, children will be assessed by a trained member of staff and allocated a coloured book band from which they can choose books to enjoy at home and in school with an adult. This book band will be shared via their reading record alongside information to support them at their level of progress. Book bands are re-assessed termly, or as appropriate to their progress.



Ongoing formative assessment forms part of our day-to-day teaching of Phonics in Foundation and Key Stage 1, allowing planning to be adapted in-the-moment to maximise progress of our learners. Alongside this, teaching staff complete assessments at the end of each phase of teaching, to ensure that an appropriate level of progress has been made by each individual pupil. Where appropriate, group and individual interventions are planned accordingly to deepen their knowledge and understanding.


We use Phonics Tracker to assess pupils reading of phonemes at each phase of phonics and to assess pupils' segmenting and blending accuracy. Phonics Tracker is also used in preparation for the Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1. Phonics Tracker assessment data allows Foundation and Key Stage 1 teaching staff to assign appropriate Decodable Books to each individual pupil. Bug Club Phonics written assessments also support with ensuring that pupils are making appropriate progress in line with the scheme of work, allowing teachers to adapt planning and implement support as required to enable progress.


Across school, from Year 1 as appropriate to each individual pupils' progress, we use PM Benchmarking to assess pupils' reading level. This assessment is completed termly and is completed 1:1 alongside a trained member of staff. Pupils are assessed based on their retelling of the text, word reading accuracy and comprehension. Pupils must be able to read the text with at least 95% accuracy with confident retelling and correct comprehension to be placed on the given book band. Pupils are assessed termly, or as appropriate to their progress.


In June each year, pupils in Year 1 take part in the statutory Phonics Screening Check. Pupils from Year 2 who failed to achieve the expected standard at the end of Year 1 will also take part in the check. 

Say the sounds.

Still image for this video
A guide to help you pronounce each sound using ‘pure sounds’ correctly.

Phonics in Action