For the teaching of phonics at Longwood we follow the synthetic approach using the letters and sounds program. It’s an approach to teaching phonics in which individual letters or letter sounds are blended to form groups of letters and sounds are then blended to form complete words. Phonics is taught daily in Reception and Year One, with children who are still needing support after this having 1:1 interventions.

We use a combination of reading schemes which include the Oxford Reading Tree scheme, Floppy’s Phonics, Ginn and Rigby star as well as free readers. This helps us to ensure that we meet every child's reading needs and we believe that it gives our learners an enriched reading experience to foster a love of reading from a young age.

The Letters and Sounds program is divided into six phases, with each phase building upon the skills and knowledge of prior learning. Our learners have the opportunity to practice and expand their ability to read and spell words. They are taught to read 'tricky' words, which are words that cannot be phonetically broken down, e.g. to, was, said, could, Mr. These words need to be learnt by repetition and mentally retained rather than being decoded. 

Phase one starts in our Nursery where we expect our learners to listen to sounds around them including the spoken language. In Nursery we also teach a range of rhymes and read a large variety of books which helps to increase their vocabulary and knowledge of the English language. 

We highly recommend the website to support your child with phonics. Your child will be able to tell you which Phase they are learning, (usually 2 &3 in REC and 4 & 5 in Year One) and play the games suitable for that level. Remember to praise them at every opportunity - learning to read is very tricky! 

If you would like any help supporting your child with phonics, learning to read or spelling then please do not hesitate to pop in and ask us or send us an email. 

Happy reading! :)