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Ashley Down Primary School


Phonics at Ashley Down Primary School Aims (intent) 

At Ashley Down Primary School we use Unlocking Letters and Sounds as our Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme. Unlocking Letters and Sounds (ULS) follows the progression of the 2007 Letters and Sounds framework, with the addition of some KS1 National Curriculum objectives. Through ULS children learn the 150+ graphemes that are represented by the 44 phonemes of the English language along with common exception words (CEWs) in a planned, progressive way. This is achieved through daily phonics lessons, reading practice using fully decodable books matched to the child’s phonic knowledge and daily handwriting practice.

What it looks like here (implementation)

We begin teaching phonics in the first few weeks of term 1 in Reception and children make rapid progress in their reading journey. Children begin to learn the main sounds heard in the English Language and how they can be represented, as well as learning ‘Common Exception’ words for Phases 2, 3 and 4. They use these sounds to read and write simple words, captions and sentences. Children leave Reception being able to apply the phonemes taught within Phase 2, 3 and 4.

Link to Phase 2 ‘Actions, Images and Letter Formation’

Link to Phase 3 ‘Actions, Images’

In Year 1 through Phase 5a, b and c, they learn any alternative spellings and pronunciations for the graphemes and additional Common Exception Words. By the end of Year 1 children will have mastered using phonics to decode and blend when reading and segment when spelling. In Year 1 all children are screened using the national Phonics Screening Check.

In Year 2, phonics continues to be revisited to ensure mastery of the phonetic code and any child who did not meet age related expectations in Y1 will continue to receive support to close identified gaps. These children will then have the Phonics Screening Check again in Y2. For further details please see the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression:

Link to ‘Overview Progression’

To ensure no child is left behind at any point in the progression, children are regularly assessed and supported to keep up through bespoke 1-1 interventions. These include GPC recognition and blending and segmenting interventions. The lowest attaining 20% of pupils are closely monitored to ensure these interventions have an impact. At Ashley Down Primary School we promote a 'phonics first' approach and in both our guided reading sessions at school and in the books, children take home, texts are very closely matched to a child's current phonics knowledge so that every child can experience real success in their reading. In these crucial early stages of reading we primarily use books from Ransom Reading Stars Phonics, to ensure complete fidelity to the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression we follow. Once children progress beyond decodable texts, they move onto our banded book scheme so that they can continue to progress in their decoding, fluency and comprehension skills to become avid, expert readers

reading meeting powerpoint1.pdf