English and Phonics

Phonics at Longwell Green Primary School

At Longwell Green Primary School we teach synthetic phonics throughout the school. We primarily follow Letters and Sounds but use many other resources to support our teaching. The programme is split into six phases. It aims for children to develop fluent word reading skills and have good foundations in spelling by the end of key Stage 1. Your child’s class teacher will be able to tell you which phase they are working in. The teaching of phonics begins in Reception, using Jolly phonics to introduce sounds to the children. Children will then learn further sounds in line with Letters and Sounds. In order to support children to make the most progress in phonics, they are organised into groups from year 1 through to year 3. Regular assessment is carried out and these groups remain fluid to ensure that children can move between groups as needed. Phonics is taught to children in years 4, 5 and 6 where needed.

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

In 2011-2012 the government introduced the statutory checking of phonics for Year 1 children. The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check is a national check of children’s phonic knowledge that all children in England are required to complete. The check comprises of a mixture of real and nonsense words which children have to decode/read. The check takes place at the end of year 1. An example of the check published by the Department for Education can be viewed below.


Parents will be invited to a meeting while their child is in year 1 to find out more information.


Our school reading books incorporate a range of reading schemes to enable children to have a breadth of reading experiences and the opportunity to read books that interest them. Our books are split into groups following a colour band system. Children will work their way through the colour bands throughout their time in the school. We encourage parents to read with their children for 10 minutes every day in Reception and KS1, 15 minutes every day in year 3 and 4 and 20 minutes every day in year 5 and 6. Comments should then be recorded in the children’s reading diary. In year 1, we employ reading assistants to read with selected children individually on a daily basis. We have found that this support enables children to make rapid progress in reading. Throughout the rest of the school we ask parents to volunteer to become reading assistants. Parents are trained in how to support children in their reading and are then able to read with children across the school.

Children also take part in guided reading. In these small guided groups children read with an adult focussing on specific reading skills.


Children at Longwell Green Primary School enjoy accessing high quality writing experiences. These writing experiences are often linked to the children’s topic and therefore are rich in purpose. Teachers plan opportunities for children to;

  • Explore and read a range of texts linked to the genre.
  • Develop their speaking and listening skills, including role play, drama and presentational techniques.
  • Develop a good understanding of the features of different text types.
  • Experience high quality teacher modelled writing.
  • Plan and complete short and extended pieces of writing.
  • Evaluate, edit and improve written pieces of work.

Children will develop key word and sentence level skills through the genre that they are learning about and in cross-curricular writing. Teachers will identify areas for development for children and these will become their targets. These targets will be addressed during writing sessions. Opportunities for regular short burst writing are encouraged throughout a unit of work, enabling the children to experience writing opportunities as regularly as possible.

Some useful websites and resources to explore at home