Willowdown Primary



At Willowdown Primary, we use Letters and Sounds as the basis for the planning of our high quality, systematic phonics programme .  Phonics begins at Nursery and is continued through the EYFS and KS1 classes.  

Within Nursery, Children will progress through phase 1,  which contains 7 aspects of listening and  sound discrimination . Each aspect is designed to help children to listen attentively, discriminate between phonemes, use sound talk to segment words, to develop children's vocabulary and ability to confidently communicate with adults and children. 

Reception Children will begin formal phonics lessons on their first day of school.  Every day, children will learn a new phoneme and common exception word (CEW). They will move on from oral blending in Nursery to blending and segmenting with letters. In every lesson, children will have opportunities to practise these skills through reading and writing activities. Reception aged children will progress through phase 2,3 and 4. 

KS1 children will begin the academic year with a recap of phase 4, before progressing onto phase 5 phonics.  Phase 5 will focus on alternative spellings, spelling and reading two syllable and three syllable words. 

Below is a video of the phonemes (sounds) children are taught within reception and KS1 classes. There are also some examples of how teachers at Willowdown Primary School teach phonics interventions. Each video focuses on a specific skill which supports each child's ability to read. 

Flash Cards (Chesterton)

A short video of phase 2 to phase 4 phonemes.

Interventions to support grapheme recognition

An example of a short, sharp intervention for identifying graphemes.

Mix It Up

An example of a short, sharp intervention for blending GPCs, in order to segment and blend CVC/CVCC words.

Oral Blending

An example of a short, sharp intervention for Oral Blending - providing children with the opportunity to hear the sounds within a word.

Reading Scheme 

At Willowdown Primary School, we use Bug Club reading books and Big Cat reading scheme in our guided reading lessons. For Home Reading, Children are given phonetically decodable Bug Club Books.  Books are closely matched to the children current phonics knowledge.  Children will progress through the reading scheme,  once they are able to read a book with 90-95% fluency, they will be able to progress onto another book. 

Below you will find, our Bug Club Reading Scheme. In Reception Class, children will start by exploring lilac banded books. Lilac books contain no words however they are used to encourage children to start to think about stories and retelling stories through pictures. As your child progresses through reception they will start to read the pink and red coded books. By the end of Reception, the expectation is that they can read yellow banded books. 

Children in year 1, will start on yellow banded books and continue through blue, green, orange and turquoise. 

Upon entering year 2, children will start on Turquoise coded books, this allows the children to recap prior knowledge. They will then continue through the purple, gold and white coded books.  The expectation is that by the end of year 2 they will be reading white coded books.