Reading and Phonics


In school we teach phonics using the Letters and Sounds programme, supported by the use of actions, stories and songs, and the PhonicsPlay website. As children move through the early stages of acquiring phonics, they practise by reading texts which are entirely decodable for them from the Rigby Star Phonics, Dandelion and Floppy’s Phonics schemes.

The Reading Scheme at St Joseph’s

The aim of the reading scheme is to produce competent readers who read for enjoyment and discovery about the world around us.

We use a variety of different reading schemes at St Josephs. Initially, children are taught using decodable readers such as the Dandelion Readers and Launchers, Floppy’s Phonics , Phonics Songbirds and Phonics Bug. As a school, we use “Letters and Sounds “ to provide phonic progression and structure, and the books we have  selected mirror that progression.

The books are “banded” so that books from different manufacturers, but of comparable level, are grouped together. This provides for depth and consolidation for our children as they are learning to read.

They next employ their phonic skills when reading non- phonetically decodable books, such as books from The Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Stars and Project X. Within the book bands are both fiction and nonfiction, plus a wide variety of genres – poetry, play scripts etc. as well as novels and information books. As the children become more confident, they move onto carefully selected paperbacks, which are still “banded” to provide structure and guidance. These books include Corgi Pups, Jets, treetops and others.

Right from the start, children are encouraged to select any book from the school library. Once children longer require the structure of the reading scheme, children may select any book from the school or class library to read, and are encouraged to read silently for sustained periods of time both in school and at home as a vital part of homework.