Early Years and Foundation Stage


• To create an inclusive, inspired and challenging curriculum, which develops children’s knowledge of phonics, enabling the to become successful readers who develop a life-log love of reading.
• To ensure children in KS1 are given the best opportunity to achieve expected progress, or more, in reading.

Further Aims

• For all children to know all the 44+ phonemes from set 2 and 3 sound packs.
• For all children to know how to use the graphemes they have been taught to decode words.
• For all children to read accurately by bending sounds of unfamiliar green words, including those with more than one syllable.
• To lernage appropriate common misconception words/red words.
• For children to use their phonics to read green words with a range of suffixes.
• To accurately read books that are linked to the sounds they are learning/have learned in school.
• To build on fluency through reading books more than once ( three times).
• To read a range of words they have frequently read with increased speed and accuracy.
• To join in with discussions about a text they have heard or read and make links between the book and their own experiences.
• To be able to predict endings and retell stories.
• To participate in class discussions regarding new vocabulary, interesting phrases, the significance in the main events and title.
• To ask and answer a range of questions about the book that has been read.


At Hampden Gurney, phonics is taught across EYFS and KS1 as well as in intervention sessions across KS2. In the EYFS and KS 1, we do this using an adapted approach to the RWI programme of study ( http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for_home/find-a-book/read-write-inc-phonics-1/) This is a scheme, developed by Ruth Miskin, which provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching Literacy. It is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. We teach in this way because, research shows that, when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. According to the DfE ( Department for Education), ‘almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics, will learn the skills they need to tackle new ‘words’.

Across EYFS and KS1, children have daily phonics lessons which they enjoy. Each session is broken up into different parts including: revision of previous sounds taught, teaching of a new sound, reading words with the new sound and writing them. Children will then be encouraged and supported to not only develop their decoding skills but also their comprehension and fluency skills through reading of the RWI colour phonics books. We do this through a range of games and activities to engage the children and ensure they enjoy their learning, making it a memorable experience. The children can then go on to read any kind of text l and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.

At Hampden Gurney we realise the important of Phonics as it provides children with the building blocks needed to become successful readers. They are taught how to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes, identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’ and then blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. Children can then use this knowledge to ‘decode’ new words they hear or see.

We continue to develop children’s honics knowledge through the progression within the RWI scheme. The children learn set 1 , 2 and 3 sounds, which enable them to read and write a range of words. Children learn different representations of a sound ( graphemes), for example ay, a-e, ai. This enables children to become more confident with not only their reading, but also spelling and develops skills which are transferable to their English. In EYFS and Yr 1, there is a greater emphasis on the reading of the sounds, whereas in Yr 2 this progresses by using the different graphemes more in spelling.

Phonics is embedded across the curriculum and the children are encouraged to use phonics to support them in a range of cross-curricular work. Phonics is displayed in each classroom across the school, including RWI sounds ad tricky red words. The children are encouraged to use these to support their writing in all lessons across the curriculum.

Children are streamed for daily RWI sessions across EYFS and KS 1 and during this time we use RWI phonic based reading books. This ensures that there is consistency between our phonics and reading sessions and that children apply their new phonics knowledge to reading books, giving them a purpose and sense of achievement.

Children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and 2 are assessed using the RWI assessments test at the end of each term. The test identifies the children’s progress so far as their targets. In addition to this, children in Yr 1 are also assessed using a phonics screening check regularly. Regular assessment using the phonics screening test, alongside the RWI assessment test, enables us to stream children for phonics and RWI, ensuring the teaching they receive is tailored to the level they are set at. The final Yr 1 phonics test takes place in June. The check is designed to confirm whether individual children have learned sufficient phonic decoding and blending skills to an appropriate standard. The test consists of 40 words – it is a combination of 20 real words and 20 pseudo words ( nonsense words) for the child to read 1:1 with their teacher or adult. This carried out by a member of staff who has undertaken the phonics testing training and who the children are familiar with. Children who do not pass this in Yr 1 will be re-assessed in Yr 2 in the same manner. The results of this are reported to parents in the summer term.

Throughout the year we provider information relating to phonics teaching, invite parents to phonics workshops and training sessions, which support the parents in listening to their child read and encouraging their child’s development of phonics. Home-school readers are also phonics based and at least one book each week will match the phonics group in ehcih the child is in, ensuring continuity and these are at the level of each individual child. These are changed on a weekly basis.


The result of phonics teaching at Hampden Gurney will be that children will have a secure knowledge of phonics, enabling them to become confident readers and access all learning across the curriculum, making expected progress or more, with a life-long love of reading.
Children will be ale to apply the skills learnt to their writing as they are confident in choosing the correct phoneme ro grapheme correspondence.

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