Children at St Mary’s learn to read with the help of daily phonics sessions. They are taught in small groups to ensure every child gets the individual attention they need to make rapid progress. To support teaching, we use Anima Phonics, a fun and interactive programme that gets the children reading very quickly and has resources parents can use at home.
In Reception, children learn one way to read and write every sound used in English. They learn to blend and segment words with five or six sounds, such as trains or scrunch, as well as polysyllabic words like tennis. They also learn to recognise a number of high-frequency words to aid fluent reading.
Towards the end of Reception and throughout Year 1 and Year 2, children learn the many alternative spellings for sounds. For example, in Reception, children will learn the spelling /ai/, as in rain, and will be introduced to the common alternative /ay/ as in Sunday. Later, children will also learn the split digraph /a_e/ (lake); /a/ (acorn), /ey/ (grey) and /ei/ (sleigh).
The children are encouraged to use phonics to help them access the rest of the curriculum from the beginning of Reception: for example finding the word ten in maths or labelling a drawing with star and tree at Christmas. Parents support their children at home with the help of reading books that are closely matched to the child’s current stage.
Teaching children the correct articulation of phonemes (mmm, not muh) helps them learn to blend quickly and easily. Anima Phonics has a soundboard parents and children can use at home to help:
Please note the pictures are designed to help the children remember and articulate each sound correctly - they are not intended to be used as an aid to spelling.