Tarleton Community Primary School

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phonics and Reading at TCP

School Phonics Statement:

At Tarleton Community Primary School, we aim to develop the full potential of all our pupils as confident, literate readers and writers. If children are to develop as competent readers and writers, it is vitally important that they have a secure understanding of the letter sounds and spelling system of the English language. Phonic skills need to be developed in a systematic way, based on a staged approach.

The Principles of the Red Rose Letters and Sounds Programme:


At Tarleton Community, we follow the Red Rose Letters and Sounds Programme, providing a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics, from Foundation Stage, through KS1 and into KS2 if appropriate. This ensures that phonics is taught regularly, discretely, explicitly and in an agreed and rational sequence. The programme focuses on securing word recognition skills, essential for children to decode (read) and encode (spell) words accurately and language comprehension. 

The programme is in six phases: Phase One promotes speaking/listening skills, phonological awareness and oral blending/segmenting; Phases Two to Five focus on high quality phonic work to help children develop fluent word reading and spelling skills. The sessions are delivered to ensure participation and engagement resulting in high-quality phonic work on a daily basis to help practitioners and teachers ensure that by the end of Key Stage 1, children develop fluent word reading skills and good foundations in spelling.

Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience; be taught new skills; practice together and apply what they have learned.

Blending and segmenting are, in the words of the Rose Review, ‘reversible processes’: that is, if you can blend the sounds together to read a word, you should also be able to identify and break down (segment) the individual sounds in a word you hear to spell it. To spell the word, you need to represent each sound you hear by a letter – or more than one letter.

Tricky Words

Children are also taught to read words that are not completely phonically regular, often called ‘tricky’ words. Children are taught to read these tricky words on sight, so that they do not have to spend time puzzling them out. The teaching of these tricky words is embedded into our phonics lessons.


Please see the video below to help you with the correct articulation of sounds.

Progression and Delivery:

Our EYFS and Year 1 children progress from Phase Two to Phase Five of Red Rose Letters and Sounds. They are taught in a discrete 30 minute daily session of phonics and our teachers and TAs follow the teaching sequence of ‘revisit, review, teach, practise and apply’. In addition, phonic skills can be applied in reading and writing opportunities as well as in other areas of the curriculum.

Using reliable assessments of children’s developing knowledge and skills, practitioners and teachers will need to judge the rate at which their children are able to progress through the programme and adapt the pace accordingly. 


Tracking and Assessment:

Children’s progress is continually reviewed, using Phonics Tracker, to allow for movement between ability groups, and children move phonics group when it is felt necessary to meet their needs. All children in EYFS and Year 1 participate in whole class lessons each day with children needing extra support participating in intervention lessons in addition. Children in Year 2 transition to No Nonsense Spelling in the Autumn Term, with children who need additional support participating in Fast Track Phonics Intervention in addition. During daily sessions of phonics, there are opportunities for our highly trained practitioners to regularly assess children’s understanding.  Outside the discrete daily phonics sessions, there are opportunities to observe the application of phonic skills, e.g. during guided/ shared reading, shared writing/guided writing. Children are formally assessed at the end of each half term. 

Regular monitoring of the assessment outcomes allows teachers and practitioners to ensure that all children are making expected progress, including children in the most vulnerable groups. This information is also used to identify children who are not making expected progress and therefore early intervention can be put in place.


Year 1 Screening Check:

 Every Year 1 child in the Summer term will take a Phonics Screening Check in which children will be expected to read 40 simple, de-codable words including nonsense words. This is a progress check to identify those children not at expected level in their reading. The results will be reported to parents and school governors. Children will be rechecked in Year 2 if they do not reach the expected level. Any child working below the level of the screen check may be dis-applied, with the permission of their parent/carer.  



Through careful monitoring and tracking, practitioners are able to identify children who are not making the expected progress and therefore need intervention to catch up. Depending on the needs of individuals, this may include additional individual or small group work in addition to daily, whole class phonics teaching. In Year 2 this intervention is delivered using Fast Track Phonics. It is important that children who are struggling to learn to read not only need to catch up with their peers, but also to continue to make progress.

Any children who still require support in KS2 participate in Bounce Back Phonics sessions in addition to their spelling and reading lessons.


Special Educational Needs:

Our aim at Tarleton Community Primary School is that every child’s needs are catered for and every child is given the chance to succeed and  become competent readers. If children are not attaining as expected, due to other difficulties, then it is our duty to put extra intervention in place, to help close the gap and ensure progress is being made.  This is monitored by Mrs Higson our SEND lead.  



Homework is used to support phonics taught in class, through tasks such as:

  • Letter flashcards and formation sheets to practice sounds learnt in school
  • Key words sent home to practice decodable and tricky words
  • Practicing phonic skills in spelling words
  • Reading and activities linked to reading

'More than any other subject, English – and especially reading – gives pupils access to the rest of the curriculum and is fundamental to their educational success.'

                                                                                                                                                                     (Research review series: English Updated 15 July 2022)


Reading Schemes:

Oxford Reading Tree is our core reading scheme through out the school.  

Within Early Years and KS1, children guided read fully decodable Dandelion phonics books; alongside Read Together Books which are intended to be read with an adult and allow children freedom in their choice of book. These books are colour banded. They take home phonetically decodable books weekly in line with their stage in the phonics scheme.  In the Summer Term  our Nursery children take home with no word picture books to start their reading journey and to build positive reading habits.


Guided Reading:

In Year 2 and once fluent, we engage the children in Whole Class Guided Reading sessions following  John Murray's Reading Explorer: A Guided Skills-Based Journey approach. Through this approach our children develop key reading and study skills. The progressive series provides our well trained teachers with a wide variety of genres, both fiction and non-fiction, which will allow children to access, interpret and understand what they are reading. It increases the child's knowledge and understanding of why certain words are chosen by an author. It gives the reader the chance to speculate on the tone and purpose of the texts, as well as consider both the texts' themes and audience.

Within KS2, the children continue their Whole Class Guided Reading sessions following John Murray's Reading Explorer approach ensuring a smooth progression from skills learned in EYFS and KS1 while accessing more challenging texts. As stated in the Research review series: English Updated 15 July 2022 'Teachers explicitly introduce the specific knowledge to pupils needed for comprehension...An effective English curriculum will feature increasingly challenging texts at each stage.'

Any children needing support with comprehension participate in Reading Rocketeers sessions to support the development of fluency and increase comprehension. Designed to boost levels of attainment for those who may still be working towards expected reading standards, each book encourages learners to both understand and apply core reading skills.


Library Books and Reading for Pleasure:

In addition to their guided reading extracts and reading scheme books, children at TCP take home books weekly from the school's well stocked libraries which are central to the learning environments. We recognise that 'Pupils are likely to benefit from opportunities to read whole texts.' (Research review series: English Updated 15 July 2022) 

Our children are provided with a variety of opportunities to read for pleasure and listen to high quality texts read by staff each day from texts mapped out on our Reading Spine.. We work hard to ensure that our children have the skills needed to fully appreciate and enjoy the power of the written word.

As a school we value opportunities to introduce our children to the work of new authors and a range of newly released books. We participate in the Lancashire Library Service book awards for Year 2 and Year 6. The key stage 1 Brilliant Book Award (BBA) and the key stage 2 Fantastic Book Awards (FBA) are popular book clubs developed with schools to encourage reading for pleasure. Our pupils are introduced to new authors and illustrators and explore a variety of genres and titles in addition to providing the opportunity to chat about books and vote for their favourite stories.


Reading Ambassador Role

Reading is very important at Tarleton Community Primary School; we know that much research has shown that children who read regularly at home perform better at school. Our Reading Ambassadors provide a children’s voice in how we promote reading throughout the school.

Reading Ambassadors are chosen from across the school, for their love of reading, their willingness to share this passion with others and enthusiasm to promote reading throughout the school.

 Roles include

  • Encouraging others in their class to read.
  • Taking care of the school's libraries.
  • Sharing book reviews and recommendations with their classes.
  • Completing library audits to find out what books, genres, dictionaries and thesauruses are needed to support reading.
  • Helping with Reading Events across the school.
  • Helping create displays to promote reading within school.


Reading and Representation:

As a No Outsiders School we feel that representation matters because,

'Books play an important role as mirrors for children: these stories and characters will affect how they see themselves and the world around them, their motivation to read, and their aspirations to become authors and illustrators of the future.'

However, finding books that truly reflect the diversity of families in the UK is challenging. Booktrust research shows that 'Over the past 11 years, fewer than 2% of all authors and/or illustrators of children’s books published in the UK were British people of colour.' By participating in this programme we can provide opportunities for our children to take part in memorable learning moments  by working with some of the UK’s leading authors and illustrators of colour in children’s literature and bringing them into the classroom virtually and in person. 

Our Reading Spine:

Please click below to look at our reading spines.

 Year 1 & 2.docxDownload
 Year 3 & 4.docxDownload
 Year 5 & 6.docxDownload
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How can I help at home?

Click on the book below to link to The Book Trust's Bookfinder which will help you discover the very best children's books: magical mysteries, astonishing adventures and fantastic non-fiction. Simply choose an age range, pick as many themes as you want to, search through thousands of book reviews, and get reading. Enjoy!

Parent Volunteers:

At TCP we value the role of reading volunteers. Their help is invaluable in developing children’s reading skills and is greatly appreciated by all staff. We hope that they get as much enjoyment from this activity as the children with whom they work.

Please click below for our reading volunteer support booklet.