Leigh Church of England Academy

Aim ever higher

Google Translate

Google Translate

Google Search

Google Search

Get in touch

Contact Details


Phonics at Leigh C of E Academy

At Leigh C of E Academy we follow a systematic phonics programme known as Read, Write Inc.  This programme supports pupils with the mechanics of learning to read, like that of decoding and blending, provides pupils with the skills to problem solve and strategy check and to then apply their phonic knowledge to other areas of the curriculum, especially writing. This programme is primarily for Early Years and Key Stage 1 but the approach is also beneficial for and supported throughout Key Stage 2.  


In a typical lesson the children will begin with a word time session where they learn the sounds used to decode words in three stages Set 1, Set 2 and Set 3 and they are taught to name these sounds and then recognise them in words.  Pupils are grouped across the Key Stage using careful assessment and they will work on the Set of sounds according to the outcome of the assessment. They then use these sounds to 'Fred talk', which is our term for segmenting words into their individual sounds and then blending them to be able to read the word. You may hear your child use the term 'alien words'.  This is because we use real and not real words to ensure that the children are able to decode using the phonemes and not just sight reading.  We will build up the fluency of their reading of words by getting them to 'Fred in their head' and by using longer multisyllabic words.  It is important that the children learn to be able to read fluently to be able to focus on understanding what they have read.  


The children will then use their knowledge of reading words to write them.  They use their 'Fred fingers' to segment each sound in turn eg. turn has three sounds t-ur-n so their are three fingers used.  Then they write the word by listening to each sound one at a time as they check the sounds that they had pinched onto each finger.  We also practice writing red words which are non decodable words like, why and the, and we build sentences orally and physically using a method called hold a sentence to support memory retention.


After the spelling element of the lesson we move onto learning to read the book.  The children support each other using partner read.  They support each other to decode the green and red words and then one will point to the words while the other reads and they alternate at each page.  The children support each other with the strategies they have learned to decode unfamiliar words.  The children will read this book a number of times over the week, to build up their fluency, and will use it to answer comprehension questions and to build and write the sentences from.


At the end of the week the children will be able to access this story again for home reading on the Oxford Owl Portal (please see the link below).  Reading this book to their parents helps to promote confidence and enthusiasm for reading, as they already know it well.  Each book comes with its own quiz which can also be accessed online. Alongside this the children will bring home a book bag book which is closely matched to the text that the children have been learning in class.  This book has not been read before and the children will need to use their knowledge and understanding of phonics and strategies to read this text.  


Children are expected to read at least 4 times a week whether it is through Oxford Owl or the book bag book.  A mixture of both is desired.


Each half term the children are assessed and if they have made progress then their groups are adjusted and they will move onto a different colour book, which is the next level.  Once the children have moved from Grey level (end of the programme) they then move onto the comprehension group which focuses on learning to understand texts at a deeper and broader level in preparation for Key Stage 2.


In the summer of year 1 the children will complete a phonics screen check, and the data is submitted to the local authority.  It is on a pass or fail basis but can be retaken in year 2. Year 2 pupils will also be involved in the KS1 SATs assessments where a reading comprehension paper is administered.


As a school we value reading as an integral cog in the academic wheel.  Without the strategies and knowledge to read well and with fluency pupils are unable to access the rest of the curriculum independently.  Learning to read unlocks doors and we hope that with your encouragement and support for our reading programme and expectations that between us we can pave the way for life long learners with greater prospects in the future.  As we always say at Leigh Academy 'AIM EVER HIGHER'.




Please take a look at how we teach phonics below:

Please see further guidance documents below:

Any other questions?