Phonics Scheme                                                                                                                                                                           

    We use Unlocking Letters and Sounds which was validated by the DfE in December 2021.                                                                                                                    

    Unlocking Letters and Sounds (ULS) is a systematic synthetic phonics programme which follows the progression of the 2007 Letters and Sounds framework, with the addition of some KS1 National Curriculum objectives.

    Children will 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 20-30 minute phonics lessons, reading practice using fully decodable books matched to the child’s phonic knowledge and twice weekly handwriting practice. For further details on pronouncing pure sounds please click: How to pronounce pure sounds

    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.

    Phase 2 Sound Mat

    Phase 3 Sound Mat

    Phase 5 Sound Mat

    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. For further details please see: Information on the Phonics Screening Check

    In Year 2, phonics continues to be revisited to ensure mastery of the phonetic code and any child who does not meet age related expectations will continue to receive support to close identified gaps.

    For further details on the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression, please see The ULS Progression Overview.  For our Phonics Action Plan, please see below:

    Phonics 2022-23

    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. 

    *NEW* Parent Reading & Phonics Presentation - October 2023

    Unlocking Letters & Sounds Phonics Glossary

    Unlocking Letters & Sounds Phase 2 Actions

    Unlocking Letters & Sounds Phase 3 Actions

    With kind thanks to St. Peter's School, Portishead for sharing the above videos

    Reading Scheme

    At Markeaton Primary School we promote a 'phonics first' approach and in both our shared 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 and TTS, to ensure complete fidelity to the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression we follow. Once children progress beyond decodable texts (after Phase 5), they move onto our banded book scheme so that they can continue to progress in their fluency, inference and comprehension skills to become avid, expert readers.

    Children also bring home a second ‘sharing’ text from our school library. It is equally important that this book is read to your child by an adult so that they can widen their vocabulary and gain insight into appropriate use of prosody when reading. Adults can model how to use tone, timing, phrasing, expression and emphasis effectively. Book talk is important when reading the shared text. Book-talk is the ability to talk about books, developing the confidence to offer ideas and then reshape them in the light of other contributions. It supports speaking & listening, helps children to present their ideas and talk effectively about a book, deepening their understanding, shifting their ideas, thinking together and improving comprehension.

    For further details please see: Book Talk Questions.

    Children, from the spring term of Year 2, are taught the skills of reading through the use of VIPERS. VIPERS is an anagram to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum.  They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts. For further details please see: VIPERS Reading Skills: 


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