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At Tardebigge CE VA School we teach phonics in Reception and Year 1 daily for 20 minutes.The school uses a variety of schemes including Letters and Sounds, Ruth Miskin, Bug Club and Jolly Phonics. The children work through 6 phases of phonics. At the end of Year 1, children undertake a statutory Phonics Screening Check to assess their phonic ability at that time. By the time the children have reached Year 2 the children will continue phonics as part of a spelling program through No Nonsense Spelling.

We follow a lesson plan that: introduces a new sound, revisits previous sounds, practices new/old sounds and words (blending and segmenting words), applies sounds learnt and assesses what the children have learnt. Please click on the link below to see all the phonic sounds children learn from Reception to Year 1.

Key terminology

  • Phoneme: the smallest unit of sound
  • Grapheme: a written symbol that represents a sound (phoneme)
  • Digraph:  two letters that make one sound
  • Trigraph: three letters that make one sound
  • Blending sounds: when the individual sounds are put together to make words
  • Segmenting: break down words into their individual sounds.

Year 1 Phonics Check

In June Year 1 children are required to take part in a phonics check. The children have to read a mixture of 40 nonsense words and real words.

In 2017 we had 80 % of our children (24/30) reach the required level.

In 2016 we had 96 % of our children (28/29 children) reach the required level.

In 2015 we had 86% of our children (26/30 children) reach the required level.

In 2014 we had 70% of our children (21/30 children) reach the required level. 


From Year 2 through to Year 4 the children learn spellings through a scheme called No Nonsense Spelling. The scheme follows the National Curriculum, English Appendix 1 for years 2, 3 and 4, ensuring the children are learning age appropriate spelling rules and progress during their time with us.

The children learn a range of spelling strategies to help them with new spellings, when writing and when editing. They also learn rules through lesson sequences of: teach, practise and assess.

Children’s work is monitored and should we feel extra support is needed or they are not meeting age appropriate targets we will put in intervention to help the child.


At Tardebigge CE VA School we are committed to every child being able to read by the time the children are ready to move on to Middle School. We always find a way for all our children to read to an acceptable level. We aim to, not only provide children with the tools to read words, but also develop a love for reading. We believe this attitude is vital for all in our school community to have.

We use ‘phonics’ as our main strategy to enable all our children to read. The reading schemes used in school are rarely used in isolation. The books have been banded in order to allow children to access a range of different types of texts and to also ensure a broad selection of books are available at a level appropriate and suitable for the individual child. We use a variety of reading schemes including :Oxford Reading Tree, Bug Club, Story World, Dandilion and real books. We also use Rapid reading to support children who may need extra support.

Reading progress and attainment is monitored closely to ensure that reading resources are adapted according to the needs and interests of the children. This is through a mixture of Guided, Whole Class and Independent Reading.

We work in partnership with our parents and carers at Tardebigge School who are incredible supportive as we ask that parents to read with their child 6 times a week. Please see the document attached below to help with reading at home with children. It focussing on the questioning and discussion needed in order to develop our children's comprehension skills.

If we feel that some children need a boost with their reading or they have a specific difficulty, which may require extra support, then we have a range of interventions we use outside of the classroom, with our teaching assistants and school Inclusion Manager Mrs Green.

Guided Reading

 The whole school takes part in Guided Reading sessions daily. The children will take part in a range of activities, these include:

  • Reading with a Teacher
  • Reading with a Teaching Assistant
  • Whole Class Reading Comprehension
  • Independent Comprehension Activity
  • Independent Phonics/Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar related Activity


We teach children to write a range of genres and texts increasing in difficulty through the Key Stages. We follow the National Curriculum for each group when teaching writing. Writing is taught through a topics in order to enthuse, ignite and aid children in their composition. The children regularly explore different types of text, discuss features, practise writing skills, plan, compose, edit and redraft.