Reading / Phonics

At Western, we have high expectations of all children and the aim of our phonics teaching is to ensure they have a firm foundation on which to build reading skills.

Phonics is taught systematically every day in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 classes. In Key Stage 2, the approach is carried on in spelling sessions and also in intervention programmes for children who need extra support.

High-quality phonics teaching helps children develop their reading, writing, spelling and general communication skills. It helps secure the crucial skills of word recognition that enable children to read fluently, allowing them to concentrate on the meaning of the text. Activities are designed to teach word decoding and recognition skills as well as comprehension skills.

Beginner readers are taught

  • Grapheme-phoneme correspondences in clear stages (linking spellings and sounds).
  • The important skill of blending (synthesising) phonemes.
  • Segmenting words into their constituent phonemes to aid reading and spelling.

The teaching of phonics is systematic, that is to say, it follows a carefully structured programme building on previous learning to secure children´s progress. It is taught discretely and daily at a brisk pace. There are opportunities to apply phonic knowledge and skills across the curriculum and in activities such as whole class and guided reading, as well as reading independently. The children´s progress in developing and applying their phonic knowledge is carefully assessed and monitored.

We follow the Letters and Sounds approach as outlined in ´Letters and Sounds´: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics, found in the Primary National Strategy 2007. We also use Jolly Phonics in the Early Years to support letter recognition. In KS1 and KS2 the THRASS scheme is used to further support phonics and spelling development.

There are a wide range of reading books in classrooms and the school library. The principal reading scheme of the school is Oxford Reading Tree. We encourage parents to read frequently with their children using their school reading books and books from home.


Please contact the school office who will be happy to answer any queries or provide copies of any of the information displayed on the school's website. We also welcome any feedback you may have. You can contact or find us using any of the details shown on this page.

Western Primary School, Cold Bath Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG2 0NA

Tel: 01423 502737Email:

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