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Bath and Wells MAT

Phonics & Reading


St John and St Francis Church School follows SSP Unlocking Letters and Sounds. The Phonics Progression is closely linked to phonically decodable books which sets out clear expectations for the teaching of phonics throughout EYFS to Year 2. This continues in to KS2 for those pupils who are still progressing through the phonics stages.

The knowledge children acquire to support their development of early reading is equally as relevant for their development as a writer. It is important that children are given equal opportunities to practise and apply their phonics skills in writing and reading tasks so that they can understand the relationship between decoding skills for reading and encoding skills for spelling.

These principles are underpinned by the modelling and teaching of good listening skills, combined with frequent opportunities to improve children’s visual and auditory memory and their ability to sequence. These skills are developed through the teaching of activities to promote phonological and phonemic awareness in young children before they embark upon a systematic phonics programme.


A love of reading is encouraged by an ever-increasing range of provision such as:

  • Daily class text shared by teacher.
  • Regular access to the school library for pupils.
  • Library openings for parents and families every Friday.
  • Daily teaching of reading lessons.
  • Focus authors for each half term to expose children to 6 new authors each year.
  • Opportunities to read aloud and independently each day.
  • 1:1 reading opportunities with an adult for every child in KS1 weekly and for target children in KS2.
  • Completion of Accelerated Reader quizzes when books are completed.
  • Inviting and well-stocked book corners in every classroom.
  • Awards for reading given weekly and half termly in school assemblies.

Children are exposed to a wide range of high-quality texts throughout the school. In the Early Years and KS1 this is supported by Big Cat Collins texts which are fully phonically decodable alongside, the whole class sharing of popular children’s books to promote reading for pleasure.  These books are read to the children regularly so that they become familiar, and the language and vocabulary begins to be embedded in the children’s own language patterns.

In KS2 (or when ready) children access reading through Accelerated Reader which we use as a diagnostic tool for children’s reading progress and to encourage children to read a wide range of texts.

Share a Story sessions : 2023-24