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Follow the link to find out more about the Literacy Programme of Study that we follow at Dinnington.




For 2017 we have introduced RWI and Fresh Start to our learning time. This is being taught from EYFS to Y6.

The school does not follow one particular reading. Instead we choose a selection of different schemes and publishers which we believe suit the needs of our children. We do subscribe to an online reading resource: Active Learn (Bug Club). Children can access their reading books at school and at home with their own password. Any child who doesn't know their user name and password can speak to their class teacher to get the information. 


Novel and Author Study

Each term, every year group chooses a novel to study (in Year 1, the year is started with an author study and excludes nurture). every child has a copy of their own book which they use within other lessons. It is also used within SpaG lessons. 


Focused Reading

Every year group has a daily focused reading session (excluding nurture). This gives the children the opportunity to learn with the teacher in a smaller focused group on objectives that are relevant to this level of learning. The rest of the class are able to apply reading and phonics skills independently. 



Every year group has their own set of spelling words and spelling rules. Please see the class pages for these.


Also every morning every class participates in The Big Spell. This is where the children practice their 10 spelling words of the week. 


At DCPS we follow Letters and Sounds for our Phonics teaching and learning, incorporating this with the needs of our children. We also subscribe to the online learning resource: Phonics Play. If you would like to learn more about using Phonics Play at home with your child please see the class teacher. 


What is phonics?

There has been a huge shift in the past few year in how we teach reading in UK schools. This is having a big impact and helping many children learn to read and spell. Phonics is recommended as the first strategy that children should be taught in helping them learn to read. It runs alongside other teaching methods such as Focused Reading and Shared Reading to help children develop all the other vital reading skills and hopefully give them a real love of reading.



Words are made up from small units of sound called phonemes. Phonics teaches children to be able to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children to learn to read words and to spell words

In phonics lessons children are taught three main things:


They are taught GPCs. This stands for grapheme phoneme correspondences. This simply means that they are taught all the phonemes in the English language and ways of writing them down. These sounds are taught in a particular order. The first sounds to be taught are s, a, t, p.


Children are taught to be able to blend. This is when children say the sounds that make up a word and are able to merge the sounds together until they can hear what the word is. This skill is vital in learning to read.


Children are also taught to segment. This is the opposite of blending. Children are able to say a word and then break it up into the phonemes that make it up. This skill is vital in being able to spell words.


What makes phonics tricky?

In some languages learning phonics is easy because each phoneme has just one grapheme to represent it. The English language is a bit more complicated than this. This is largely because England has been invaded so many times throughout its history. Each set of invaders brought new words and new sounds with them. As a result, English only has around 44 phonemes but there are around 120 graphemes or ways of writing down those 44 phonemes. Obviously we only have 26 letters in the alphabet so some graphemes are made up from more than one letter.

ch th oo ay (these are all digraphs - graphemes with two letters)

There are other graphemes that are trigraphs (made up of 3 letters) and even a few made from 4 letters.

Another slightly sticky problem is that some graphemes can represent more than one phoneme. For example ch makes very different sounds in these three words: chip, school, chef.


So why bother learning phonics?

In the past people argued that because the English language is so tricky, there was no point teaching children phonics. Now, most people agree that these tricky bits mean that it is even more important that we teach phonics and children learn it clearly and systematically. A written language is basically a kind of a code. Teaching phonics is just teaching children to crack that code. Children learn the simple bits first and then easily progress to get the hang of the trickier bits.


What will this actually look like?

All schools following the recommendations will be using a systematic phonics programme. The programme published by the government and available free to all schools is called Letters and Sounds. Other schools may have chosen to buy a commercial programme. There are a number of these available but the school should have taken care to make sure that any programme they use meets the recommendations in the Rose Report. Other schools may have created their own programme or have taken elements from more than one programme and merged them together.


We use the Letters and Sounds programme, and you would expect to see the following ):

Children in Reception, Y1 and Y2 should have a 15-20 minute phonics session every day. This session should be fast, fun and multisensory (see above). Each session will follow a clear sequence as follows:

Introduction - The teacher will explain to the children what they will be learning today and get them enthusiastic and motivated for the session.

Revisit and review - The children will play a quickfire game to practise something they have learned before and help build their confidence.

Teach - The children will be taught a new phoneme/grapheme or a new skill - this will be taught in a fun multisensory way and may well involve: songs, actions, pictures, puppets, writing giant letters in the air.

Practise - The children play fast, fun games to practise the new thing they have just learned. Many of the games on this site will be used in this section of the session.

Apply - The children will have a quick go at reading or writing sentences that involve the new thing they have just learned.

Each of these sections lasts a few minutes at most.

Outside of the phonics session children should be given lots of opportunities to apply the new skills that they have learned in all the lessons that they do. The more opportunities they are given the sooner they will become confident with these skills.


Is this the only way that children are taught to read?

Absolutely not! Phonics is the first step in helping children to crack the code of reading and writing. However children also need to learn strategies to tackle words that can't be decoded easily and also to be able to understand and engage with what they read.

Reading skills are also developed through regularly Reading Aloud to children.

Focused Reading sessions involve a group of children reading the same book with a teacher. Within the session they will revise specific skills then read independently up to a certain point in the book. The teacher will move around the group listening to each child read. Then the group will discuss how they used the specific skill they worked on at the start of the session and also discuss their thoughts, feelings and observations about what they have read.


Literacy Lessons are another key opportunity for teaching reading. Each literacy unit usually lasts for several weeks and will tackle a particular type of text e.g. fantasy stories, instructions etc. Over the course of those few weeks children should read various texts of this type and ideally learn one off by heart including actions and sound effects. They should also develop speaking and listening skills by exploring these texts through drama and role play and discussing how they feel about them. Specific skills related to the text, such as sentence structure or getting things in the right order should be explored and finally children should have a go at writing their own text. Clearly many parts of this process will help to develop children's reading skills. Within this process there will be many opportunities for Shared Reading in which a teacher will plan to model or develop a specific reading skill with a group of children.


(Taken from Phonics Play)