At St John the Baptist CE School, we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who love reading. Reading for pleasure can benefit a child’s education, social and cognitive development, their wellbeing and their mental health. Reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners.

Systematic Synthetic Phonics is a way of teaching children to read, write and spell. The sounds that children learn are taught in a specific, systematic order (not alphabetically) so that children can begin to build words from these sounds as quickly as possible. Phonics supports children to hear, identify and link the sounds that letters make (phonemes) to what the letters look like when written down (graphemes). This helps children to recognise and read words, using knowledge of the sounds to read new or unfamiliar words.

At St John the Baptist CE School, all children in Reception, Year 1 & 2 participate in a daily phonics lesson. We use Rising Stars Rocket Phonics in Reception and Year 1 to give your child the best possible start with their reading and writing development. Every member of staff across the school are trained in planning and delivering the scheme of work.

Each lesson consists of 4 parts of a teaching and learning cycle. These are as follows:

  1. Review and Revisit – previously taught sounds.
  2. Teach – using online storybooks (Big Books) to present new letter-sound correspondences within the context of stories.
  3. Practise – reading and writing skills daily using write-in Pupil Practice Booklets.
  4. Apply – knowledge and skills through a guided reading session using fully-decodable Target Practice Readers.

This is followed up by using additional Rocket Phonics reading practice books to apply and consolidate the children’s new learning independently in school and at home.

Those pupils who require additional support with decoding or comprehension are identified quickly and are supported further within a lesson. Intervention groups are created when needed to support those who need it. Parents will be made aware of when children are receiving group intervention support for phonics.

The impact of our phonics teaching is that:

  • Pupils of all abilities learn to use their phonics knowledge to decode and blend words as quickly as possible.
  • Pupils of all abilities learn to use their phonics knowledge to segment and spell words as quickly as possible.
  • Pupil of all abilities read often and are able to enjoy a wide range of genres.
  • Pupils are given the confidence to read age appropriate material in any subject.
  • Parents and carers have a good understanding of how they can support reading at home and contribute regularly to home-school records.
  • The percentage of pupils achieving the required score to pass the Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1 is at least in line with national averages.

You can access the Reading Planet Rocket Phonics Parent Guide by following the link below:

Guide to sound pronunciation

We know that sound pronunciation can be tricky! Rising Stars Rocket Phonics have created 12 videos which demonstrate every sound from Pink A to Orange bands. The flashcards featured are part of the Rocket Phonics Online subscription that we use in our lessons. To view the complete set of videos, follow the link below: