Fishburn Primary School

Fishburn Primary School
Small But Mighty!


“Phonemic awareness lays the foundation for learning letters.”

What is Phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:

  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
  • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as /sh/ or /oo/; and
  • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.

It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7. Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.

Approaches to the teaching of phonics at Fishburn Primary:



In the past, we have successfully used the ‘letters and sounds’ scheme to teach early reading at Fishburn. In 2021, we decided to enhance our phonic offer by building on letters and sounds and move to the DFE validated scheme ‘Essential Letters and Sounds’. This scheme has been created in conjunction with teachers from approved DFE English Hubs as well as the Knowledge Schools Trust. The programme has been designed to ensure that all children learn to read well and make speedy progress.

Across the Autumn Term 2022 phonics teaching will be happening daily in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 to ensure that our children are proficient readers. We also recognise that for some children reading quickly and for meaning does not come easy and so we ensure that there is appropriate, planned catch up and intervention available for those children who may require it.

Please access the link below to find out more information about ‘Essential Letters and Sounds’:


To ensure that the teaching of phonics and reading remains a high priority at Fishburn, all children have access to high quality books, matched to their phonic ability from the Oxford Reading Tree phonics/reading scheme. This allows children to practise the new sounds and words they learn in class at home with parents. Our children will be listened to read by an adult every week and will have opportunities built in around their daily routine to practise their reading schools.

At home, we ask that parents support our teaching of phonics and reading by sitting down each evening and listening to your child read. We expect that children read at home at least 3 times per week and record this in their reading record. Staff check reading records daily. Please see more about our core reading offer on our reading page.