At Basildon C.E. Primary school we aim to ensure that all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of key stage one through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with a whole school approach that promotes enthusiastic, independent readers who have a love of reading and become lifelong readers and writers.


At Basildon, we follow the Letters and Sounds document’s principles and practice across foundation stage and key stage one, linking the sequence of teaching to phonics play in foundation and year 1 and moving onto NNS (No Nonsense Spelling) in year 2. The school uses the Oxford Reading tree scheme for reading.

Disadvantaged children and those with SEND are given full access to the curriculum. Teachers use a range of strategies to enable all children to become successful readers including:

  • Small group phonics support/opportunities

  • Extra time given to flashcards to reinforce learning of phonemes

  • Using a range of learning styles and provide multi-sensory experiences.

  • Use of dual coding

  • Encouraging use of sound/word mats to support writing in phonics

  What phonics at Basildon looks like in lessons:

  • Whole school discrete phonics/spelling at 9am daily for 20 minutes.

  • A balance of blending and segmenting, speaking and listening skills taught across a week

  • Lively, interactive, investigative

  • Strategies taught to identify and decode `tricky words’ within the English language

  • Multi-sensory approach to the teaching of phonics, including using jolly phonics (attached) to support effective delivery of phonics.

  • Groups differentiated to ensure all meet their full potential

  • Use of dual coding in phonics lessons and opportunities for learning and embedding vocabulary

  • Begin with a revisit and review of previous learning

  • End with application to reading or writing.

  • Good pace of the lesson keep children engaged throughout the lesson.

  • Appropriate level of challenge for each child.

  • A mixture of whole class, group and individual work

  • Small intervention groups provided for phonics for those in ks1 and ks2 who are identified as needing it.

  • Dots and lines used for phonemes for sound buttons.

  • Handwriting policy and correct letter formation will be reinforced through phonics sessions.

What phonics at Basildon looks like outside lessons:

  • Phonics skills are applied and embedded in reading and writing tasks across the curriculum.

  • Learning environment will support children in their learning and application of phonics eg. word mats, word lists, display, dual coding.

  • A wide range of high quality texts used to apply phonic awareness, for example in guided reading, storytime.

  • Opportunities for learning phonics presented throughout the day eg. words on bananas for snack time.

  • Where interventions are required, they are put into place to fill gaps and meet individual children’s needs.

  • Regular (termly) staff meetings to ensure consistency in assessment and to review children’s progress. 

  • Regular staff training

  • Parents guide to letters and sounds to go out to parents at the beginning of the academic year for foundation stage, year 1 and year 2.

  • Parents informed of phonics learning through class dojo, meetings with parents.


Formative Assessment


  • Verbal Feedback – the vast majority of feedback is in conversation with the pupil, allowing misconceptions to be spotted and effectively addressed at an early stage.

  • Assessments from each lesson to inform next step planning

Summative Assessment

  • Regular (September, December, March, June) assessment to inform rate of progress for individual children using the appropriate phase sheets, excel to record the assessments and mini action plan of interventions/how gaps will be addressed.

  • Regular assessment of tricky words to inform planning.

  • All year one children take the ‘Phonics Screening Check’ - a statutory assessment required by legislation. Those who do not meet the pass mark will be given support and intervention programmes in year two to provide them with sufficient knowledge and understanding to re-take the ‘Phonics Screening Check’ and obtain a pass mark. Those children who do not obtain the required level set by the ‘Phonics Screening Check’ will receive phonics teaching in the first term of year three – which will be further supported throughout the year and across key stage two with a phonics and/or spelling intervention programme.

  • Practice `Phonics Screening Check’ to take place in March to identify areas for future learning.

  • Use of summative and formative assessment to inform the planning of effective and differentiated provision for all children.

Subject leaders map tier two vocabulary across each milestone and tier three vocabulary for each unit. Dual coding is used to support the discreet teaching of vocabulary across the curriculum.

The school’s curriculum driver of diversity underpins the entire curriculum. Teachers actively seek opportunities to promote and celebrate diversity across the curriculum where ever appropriate.