At Willow Wood Community Primary School our teaching of phonics is based on the Sounds-Write Programme which is a highly structured, synthetic phonics programme. This begins very early on when children join Reception and continues until a child is a confident and competent reader and speller. Sounds-Write is used around the world and is one of the DfE approved phonic schemes.
The knowledge of sounds and symbols is an important starting point for understanding and using written language and we believe that a strong and consistent approach to the teaching of phonics is vital for our children to begin to access the rest of the curriculum. This is, however, used in conjunction with many other strategies to help children to begin to read and write.
To develop their confidence in applying their phonics to reading, children read and re-read their Dandelion or Sounds-write decodable reading books. Decodable readers are used when learning to read and only contain the phonetic code that the children have been exposed to. This means that the children are able to read most of the words by applying their knowledge of phonics. This success in reading builds confidence and helps instil a love of reading. It also helps to consolidate the skills and sounds learnt from the Sounds-Write phonics sessions and supports the development of good reading strategies. This in turn helps to build reading fluency. Decodable readers will be given to the children throughout their time in EYFS, year 1 and for most of year 2 until the child has been exposed to most of the phonetic code and is reading independently and fluently.