Phonics and Reading Schemes


The government strongly recommend the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word.

Here at Outwood Primary Academy Kirkhamgate, we are using the ‘Letters and Sounds ‘ programme to get children off to a flying start with their literacy. Letters and Sounds is a method of learning based upon letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing. To help the children with their reading and writing, we build up their phonics skills using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ phase structure, and often utilise the ‘Phonics Play’ resources to support phonetic learning.

Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who can read more challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.

Using Letters and Sounds the children learn to read effortlessly so they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so they can put all their energy into composing what they write.

The children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their ability. They will work with a Letters and Sounds trained teacher or teaching assistant. In addition to the Letters and Sounds, children will also be working on writing skills in their classes with their own teacher.

The Phonics Co-ordinator at Outwood Primary Academy Kirkhamgate is Mrs Kirman. If you have any questions or need any guidance on the programme, please call into the school office or give them a ring and they will arrange an appointment for you.

At Outwood Primary Academy Kirkhamgate we use a variety of reading scheme resources, as well as ‘real books’ to ensure a broad, balanced reading curriculum. The books are colour coded into levels of challenge and difficulty. The children are taught reading strategies and comprehension skills in focus, guided reading groups. Children who are just starting on their journey to becoming a reader will have more intensive, 1:1 reading teaching and input. The schemes we utilise include:

  • Rising Stars
  • Phonics Bug
  • Oxford Reading Tree
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Letters and Sounds