At Barcroft Primary School, pupils are taught phonics and early reading skills from a young age. Throughout school, we follow the Ruth Miskin Literacy (RML) approach through the Read Write Inc. programme. Children first begin the programme in Nursery and continue throughout EYFS and KS1. Our aim is to teach every child to read and write, and for them to develop a love of reading. Through repetition and consolidation, children can improve their spelling acquisition, and also segment and blend sounds accurately. Through daily phonics sessions and high quality teaching, we aim for all our pupils to be able to read fluently by the end of KS1.


Our Aims

  • To teach children to learn to read and write all 44 graphemes in the English language. 
  • To teach children specific strategies to help them remember tricky words. 
  • To ensure that the teaching of phonics is exciting, interactive and engaging. 
  • To encourage children to apply their phonic skills in all curriculum areas. 
  • To develop children’s ability to accurately spell. 

Teaching and Learning

Phonics is taught in EYFS and KS1 every day for 40 minutes between 9:05-9:45. Children are taught in ability groups and are mixed across year groups depending on their appropriate phonics level. This ensures that children receive high quality teaching specific to their individual needs. 

Early phonics begins in Nursery where children are introduced to ‘Fred the Frog’. They will initially learn to distinguish between different types of sounds and noises. They will begin to access the set 1 sounds through short, daily phonics sessions. They are taught memorable songs and rhymes for each sound and will begin to apply this knowledge through phonics games and directed play. Children will learn how to recognise the initial sound in simple words and begin to blend sounds together to read simple CVC words. 

In Reception, children build on previous learning from Nursery and access the appropriate level of phonics for their ability. By the end of the year, we expect all children to know their set 1 sounds and be able to segment and blend different words. We also expect the children to begin to read simple sentences independently and recognise a range of high frequency words. During the Spring term, pupils will begin to read the coloured RML books and work their way through the RML programme. 

In Year 1 and Year 2, children will continue to progress through the different coloured books and learn the set 2 and set 3 sounds. They are also expected to read and write all high frequency words appropriate for their year group. Learning will also focus on reading alien and nonsense words to assess children’s ability to decode. Once the children have completed the last colour RML book band, they then follow our ‘Off the Programme’ scheme. This involves using their previously learned phonics skills to read fluently and effortlessly. There is a focus on spelling, comprehension and understanding, in order for pupils to make progress in their reading, writing and speaking. 

In KS2, we continue targeted phonics interventions for children who we feel would benefit from additional sessions. This is taught through the Read Write Inc. Fresh Start programme, which enables pupils to learn specific phonic sounds and skills in order for them to read fluently. There is a particular focus on developing children’s comprehension and spelling skills. Children also practise writing every day and using their phonics knowledge to write their own compositions.

How Can You Help Your Child at Home?

Please see our Set 1, Set 2 and Set 3 Phonics Guidance for Parents documents. These are to support parents with teaching phonics skills at home.

Phonics Policy 2020 - 2021

Set 1 Sounds Parent Guidance

Set 2 and 3 Sounds Parent Guidance

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check Guidance

Phonics Key Vocabulary

Year 2 Phonics Screening Pack