Phonics and Reading Schemes

At Pikes Lane Primary School, reading is delivered through books and additional resources from the Oxford Reading Tree, a well-established and popular reading scheme which is highly successful in teaching children how to read. These stories are carefully written using simple, natural-sounding language that children can understand. Key words are repeated throughout the storybooks so that children can gradually increase the number of words they can recognise and read.

The Oxford Reading Tree has twelve stages. Children start at Stage 1 when they arrive at Pikes Lane Primary School, and gradually progress up the tree to Stage 11 (typically in Upper Key Stage 2). When a child exceeds Stage 11, they become a ‘free reader’, and can select their own suitably-challenging reading materials from the well-resourced school library.

Phonics – the direct teaching and learning of the sounds and spelling patterns of English - is taught every day in Key Stage 1. This will either be by a phonics-trained teaching assistant or the child’s class teacher. Children in Key Stage 2 who still require regular phonics teaching – ie. still below phase 6 – are also taught phonics daily.

Phonics is planned using Letters and Sounds, a widely-used and effective resource created produced by the Department For Education, which provides the basis for our systematic, clear teaching of sounds and spelling patterns. Once children have surpassed the final phase of Letters and Sounds, they begin the Support For Spelling programme, which is continued until children leave at the end of Upper Key Stage 2. To enhance the teaching of Phonics, Rigby Star (a prominent source of resources for Guided Reading in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1) is used. Phonic Bug is also used in conjunction with Letters and Sounds in Key Stage 1 to provide a firm, fun foundation for Phonics.  

Further training on the use of Letters and Sounds in the Pikes Lane Learning Journey has been delivered to all teaching staff by Anna Lucas, a renowned expert in the field of phonics and child-based linguistics.