Slinfold CE Primary School and Pre-School

Caring for each other, learning from each other, achieving with each other…guided by God

Reading and Phonics



At Slinfold CE Primary School, we recognise that reading is a key life skill and that the ability to read brings life-long pleasure. The teaching of phonics and reading throughout the school is of the highest priority. Our systematic phonics scheme is fun, active and engaging. All children are exposed to sounds daily through high quality teaching and learning. Our vision is that children quickly become enthusiastic and motivated readers that have the ability to recognise, blend and segment sounds, in order to read words. They become confident, fluent readers, who show a good understanding of what they have read. Our children read a wide range of high-quality genres and texts, promoting a love of literature and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure and for information, as well as using reading to promote reflective thinking. Through our practical and engaging teaching approach, children are able to build upon and demonstrate their reading skills, using VIPERS to support their learning, from EYFS to KS2.




We recognise that for learners that are not yet secure in their phonics knowledge, daily phonics teaching at their level is essential. Through the use of continuous assessment, we are able to identify children that need support and pre-teaching to help them be successful in their learning. Our phonics scheme has visual, auditory and kinaesthetic prompts to support all types of learners. Children have the opportunity to ‘bump’ into phonics throughout the environment to practice and apply their skills. We work closely with families to give regular feedback on their child’s learning, offering strategies to support them at home. The use of daily story time gives children with lower reading fluency the ability to access age-appropriate texts, extending their vocabulary. This promotes a love of reading, helping children to unlock their imagination and creativity. Reading skills are taught and built upon throughout the school using our VIPERS approach. This gives children the chance to be explicitly taught each skill, having it modelled clearly and the time to discuss and put it into practise.


At Slinfold CE Primary School, we place a huge level of importance on the teaching of phonics. During the first few weeks of your child's time in Reception we will carry out simple checks on which sounds and letter names they already know so that we can ascertain their starting point. Once this process is complete then we establish our phonics teaching sessions.


We use a fantastic phonics scheme called Song of Sounds. This is a creative and multi-sensory resource which really supports children with developing a love of learning.


There are several stages to Song of Sounds, each accompanied by a different song which the children love. These songs are hugely important for teaching the children the different phonemes (sounds).


Stage 0

Stage 0, for children in our pre-school, introduces the sounds of the alphabet through fun, age-appropriate games and activities that take no more than 5-10 minutes a day.


Part one of the Stage 0 resources falls within the Communication and Language area of the Early Years Foundation Stage. It focuses on developing children's speaking and listening skills and language comprehension through a variety of rhymes, stories, poems and drama activities.


Part two marks the beginning of phonics teaching, in which the children, once they are ready, begin to learn their 26 letter sounds (phonemes).

Stage 1:

This is for children in Reception and the video can be accessed by clicking on the video below.

Song Of Sounds - Stage 1

Song Of Sounds - Stage 1 video - for children in Reception.

Stage 2:

This is for children in Year One and builds on the sounds learnt in Reception. 

Song of Sounds - Stage 2

Song of Sounds - Stage 2 video - for children in Year 1.

Stage 3:

This is aimed at children in Year Two and again and the sounds covered continue to build on the children's prior learning. Children within Year Two will still need to revise and apply the sounds in the stage 2 song.

Song Of Sounds - Stage 3

Song Of Sounds - Stage 3 video - building on the learning from the stage 2 video.

In order for you to support your child with their learning of the different phonemes (the smallest unit of sound), it is really important that you are articulating the sounds in the same way that your child is learning at school. By watching the video clip below, demonstrating how each phoneme should be pronounced, you will be able to correctly model this to your children, helping them to make brilliant progress with their phonics learning.

Articulation of Phonemes

A useful video clip showing the correct 'pure' pronounciation of phonemes (units of sound).

Within school, daily phonics sessions gradually introduce the children to the different letter sounds and help to develop their sight vocabulary. We ensure that opportunities for practising phonics skills are in place throughout our school day and all of our learning environments so that learning is constantly being reinforced and embedded.


We regularly assess the children's knowledge and understanding in phonics to see if there are any sounds that they are finding particularly tricky to master. This also helps us to assess their progress to ensure that they are on track to achieve expected standards in the Phonics Screening Check which takes place at the end of Year One.


2021 update to the Phonics Screening Check:

Due to the impact of the covid-19 pandemic, children in Year One did not get to take part in the Phonics Screening Check in the summer term as planned.


These children will instead complete a Phonics Screening Check in the second half of the autumn term as Year Two children.


A powerpoint, explaining this process is available below.

Information for parents and carers about the Phonics Screening Check

Author Visit to Christ Hospital

On Wednesday 8th March, 10 children from Year 5 visited Christ Hospital for an author visit. The author was J.J. Arcanjo, who wrote Crooked Haven. 


The book is about 13-year-old Gabriel who is a brilliant pickpocket, a skill which he uses to keep his often empty belly not quite so empty. But one day, he is caught! However, instead of being arrested, he is invited by the mysterious Caspian Crook to attend Crookhaven – a school for thieves.


The children loved the visit, commenting - 

" I love it, especially when he talked about the book and read it to us using different voices". 

"It was really good, I love the book, I'm already on chapter 8".