Reading and Phonics

Phonics and Reading

At Essa Primary Academy we strive to ensure that all pupils become successful, fluent readers by the end of key stage one and believe this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with a whole school approach that promotes a ‘love for reading’ culture. We follow a bespoke systematic approach for the teaching and learning of phonics. Our school scheme known as Essa Precision Phonics incorporates the best of the Letters and Sounds (DfE 2007) and Read Write Inc. phonics schemes. The key components of the scheme are physical phonics and opportunities for consolidation.


Discrete 20 minute phonics lessons take place daily across Reception and Key Stage One. They follow the structure of ‘Review, Teach, Practise, Apply’ to ensure that pupils are consolidating phonic knowledge and skills over time and that they are able to apply them in context. These lessons proceed at pace and incorporate a wide range of practical and interactive activities to engage the pupils. These activities are carefully chosen to ensure that pupils develop their skills in aural discrimination and phonemic and rhyme awareness, blending and segmenting as well as grapheme- phoneme correspondence.


Reading is the thread which ties together our Curriculum.


Guided Reading Lessons take place across the school at least 4 days a week and although the exact format varies to meet the needs of individual cohorts and Key Stages, they all involve immersing the children in rich and varied texts and focusing on teaching the children how to respond to, and confidently discuss what they have read. Children at ESSA are taught comprehension skills through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction.


All our pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.


To support this, our pupils are provided with a range of fiction and non-fiction books which are regularly changed to aid progression with their reading. The expectation at Essa is that children read at least 4 times a week. We use the popular and well-established Pearson and Oxford reading schemes which are supplemented by additional reading programmes to support SEND / EAL children.


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