At St James Primary School C of E, we aim to give our children the tools to let their lights shine as fluent readers and confident writers. 


  • To develop phonetic skills which develop fluent and accurate readers
  • To give all children word work strategies that will enable them to become fluent readers and confident writers
  • To promote confidence and positive attitudes to reading
  • To promote reading for pleasure to access a wide range of literature

Systematic Synthetic Phonics

Our approach to learning phonics in the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) and KS1 (Key Stage 1) is through using Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics as well as Jolly Phonics. Jolly Phonics provide the pupils with a picture, a song and an action to learn the different sounds and Letters and Sounds support the teaching with games and robust resources. Together these provide our children with an effective and interactive way to learn and recall phonemes, with the aim to become fluent readers by age seven.

Our phonic lessons often follow the revisit/review, teach, practise and apply model. Lessons are planned to include opportunities for the development of speaking and listening and writing, as well as providing pupils with key reading skills such as oral blending and segmenting.  The lessons are fast paced and repetitive to ensure the pupils learning is securely embedded.  Our pupils are assessed every half term and re-grouped according to their next steps so that they always receive targeted teaching.

Throughout the school, pupils are provided with a range of fiction and non-fiction books which are regularly changed to aid progression within their reading. Some of the reading schemes we use are PM Storybooks, PM Plus, PM Science Facts, Rigby Star and Bug Club. In the EYFS and KS1 we have supplemented our scheme, with wholly decodable texts from the well-established Floppy Phonics and Oxford Reading Tree schemes.

Phonics Assessment

Each June, all children in Year 1 undertake a National Phonics Screening Check. This check consists of 40 words (20 real words and 20 pseudo words) which all children are asked to read. The focus of this check is to see if pupils can decode a range of unfamiliar words with the skills that have been taught.