Swanwick Primary School
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Phonics and Early Reading
 Boy lying down and reading Reading in school is emphasised from 'Day 1', not only because it is a source of considerable pleasure, but also because it is the key to all the other areas of the curriculum. We teach reading through a variety of methods, designed to suit the needs of the child.
 Girl lying on back reading Shared and group reading take place in school each week and all children are given an individual reading book and reading record to take home. Children are encouraged to read aloud to, or with, their parents or carers every night and are also heard individually in school when possible. 
 Biff, Chip and Kipper


The main reading scheme in school is 'The Oxford Reading Tree'. This is supported by a wide range of other banded books at a similar level of difficulty. Please do not judge your child's progress by where he/ she is on the reading scheme; learning to read is not a race, and quick progress to the next book may not always be in your child's interest. Re-reading a much loved 'easy' book may do more for your child's progress than struggling with a harder text.

 Oxford Owl, who print the Biff, Chip and Kipper books also do a fantastic range of e-books that you can read on your computer or tablet. You have to register, but it is free. Click here to find out more.


  alphabet letters

All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 have a daily phonics lesson.  The children start Reception with a 20 minute lesson where they learn a new sound each day until they know all of their first set of sounds.  Whilst they are learning these sounds they learn how to blend them together to make words.  The lessons increase in length as they progress through the year.  The Year 1 and 2 children are streamed by reading ability and have 45 minute lessons taught to their phonic level. 

We follow the Read, Write, Inc. phonics programme.  This starts with the teaching of the initial sounds and quickly introduces blending them together to make words. The children are introduced to Fred the Frog who helps the children to read, spell and identify those tricky words they cannot sound out .  The programme is accompanied by reading books and writing activities which re-inforce the sounds the children are learning.

Below is a short video that tells you how to pronounce the individual letter sounds:



Below are three well-known sites with plenty of good phonics games and practice. Children in reception usually start on phase 2 and work through the phases at different rates. By the end of year 1, many children will be confident up to level 5. Choose games in which you child is achieving plenty of success. Ask your child's teacher if you are not sure which phase to work on.




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