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Phonics Programme and Reading Scheme

Phonics at North Ridge Community School

At North Ridge Community School, in accordance with the current Government Validation Notice and review of Phonics provision, we use the Essential Letters and Sounds Programme. The principles and practice are used to teach high-quality phonics, starting in the Early Years Foundation Stage right throughout the school to post-16, where pupils then focus on life skill-based reading and writing. Pupils will progress through 6 phases of learning.

Please see below for more information.

The intent of Phonics Teaching

At North Ridge Community School, we aim to support children to become confident readers. Phonics is taught through a range of creative and engaging lessons to promote a love for reading. All children develop at their own pace and pick up new concepts in their own time. Teaching staff ensure teaching and learning is personalised to support individual needs and progress, and individual achievements are celebrated!

At North Ridge Community School, we aim to:

  • Establish a consistent teaching and learning approach that is progressive and aspirational for all learners.
  • Provide a language and print-rich environment that encourages and supports oracy and literacy skills.
  • Ensure pupils are at the centre of all phonics planning.
  • Present opportunities for pupils to apply their phonic knowledge.
  • Provide an inclusive reading environment, where areas of learning are clearly labelled using Makaton symbols to support understanding and promote independence.
  • Ensure all pupils develop confidence, accuracy, fluency when reading and writing, promoting their independence.
  • For pupils to apply their phonic knowledge in their reading and writing across the whole curriculum.
  • For pupils to access a range of high-quality texts and phonically decodable books within the classroom provision.
  • To have robust assessment procedures so that progress can be tracked.
  • Ensure that systematic synthetic phonics, following the ‘Essential Letters and Sounds’ programme, is taught to enable Pupils to:
  • Discriminate sounds and develop phonemic awareness and rhyme to aid in reading, writing, and spelling development.
  • Develop the ability to blend and segment so that decoding skills provide a sound foundation for reading, writing and spelling.
  • Learn the 44 phonemes within the English language.

Implementation of Phonics Teaching

At North Ridge Community School, children will participate in daily phonics lessons, activities and will have access to a purposeful phonics provision. Children will be given opportunities to develop sound discrimination, phonemic awareness, letter formation and apply their phonic knowledge through reading and writing. The key to the delivery of phonics is that children engage in short, sharp activities that are taught often following a systematic structure.

Each lesson is taught following the teaching sequence set out in the Essential Letters and Sounds document consisting of a 4-part lesson structure:


Review – Previous learning is reviewed.

Teach – Pupils are taught a new sound/phoneme.

Practise – Opportunities for pupils to practise saying, reading and writing the sound.

Apply – Pupils apply new skills to read and write words, captions and sentences.

With a systematic and progressive phonics structure in place, providing a rigorous and robust approach means that pupils progress through the Essential Letters and Sounds teaching structure, and are carefully monitored to ensure that they are accessing phonic lessons that are challenging, but inclusive of their additional needs.

How to support your child at home with phonics

To best support us in teaching your child to read, we ask that you read a decodable text provided by the school four times across the week. Spending time reading with your child daily, will hugely support them on their journey to becoming an independent reader.

The class teacher will allocate your child a reading book, which can be accessed at home via the Oxford Owl website. This reading book will be carefully matched to the teaching taking place in school. We will only ask pupils to read books independently when they can decode words by themselves. For pupils who are not ready for reading decodable books, please share a story with your child, helping us to instil a love of reading from the very beginning of their reading journey.

Please follow the link below to access your child’s online phonic decodable reading book:

Class logins will be sent to you via Seesaw from the class teacher.

Parent Phonics Workshop 6.05.2022

It was a busy but productive morning at NRCS. Parents and Carers attended the first parent phonics workshop.

It was amazing to see so many of you in school and eager to develop and brush up on your phonic knowledge!

The workshop was a great success, with lots of participation and enthusiasm.

Please refer to the school website for future workshops available.

We hope to see you their next time.

Parents comments:

“Really enjoyed the workshop, would love to come to another one”

“This has been very helpful and useful to help my child at home”

“Informative, I have always wondered how to teach my non-verbal son phonics. This workshop gave me an insight into phonics and what they do”


Useful Websites and Applications

Parent / Carer information leaflet -Oxford Owl ebook 

Phase 2 Tricky Words Video:

Tricky Words and Sight Words Song – YouTube

Phase 3 Tricky Words Video

Learn to Read | Phonics for Kids | Letter Teams – OO and OA – YouTube

Alphabet song:




Oxford Owl Videos:

Supporting the pronunciation for all 44 phonemes:

How to blend sounds to read words:

How to support phonics learning at home: