Phonics at Lionel Walden Primary School

At Lionel Walden Primary School we are committed to providing great reading provision and developing pupils’ proficiency in, and love of, reading. We ensure that all children have the skills, knowledge and understanding to become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that high-quality phonics teaching improves literacy levels and gives all children a solid base on which to build and develop their reading habits so that they read widely and often for reading and information.

Through daily, systematic and consistent high-quality phonics teaching, children learn to blend and segment words for reading and spelling. To allow our children to develop a strong phonic awareness and effective blending, decoding and comprehension skills, we have chosen to use a DfE Validated synthetic phonics programme (SSP) called FFT Success for All Phonics from FFT.

The programme supports our intentions to teach children to read and write independently so that they are able to access a broad and exciting curriculum and flourish as learners throughout their time at our school.


How is Phonics teaching implemented?

We maintain fidelity in the implementation of our phonics teaching by using FFT Success for All Phonics which allows the children to learn phonics through a highly structured programme of daily lessons across FS/KS1, using a variety of fun activities in multi-sensory and systematic ways.

Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practice together and apply what they have learned and celebrate their achievements. It follows the teaching principles of:

  • Revisit and Review
  • Teach and Model
  • Practise and Apply
  • Celebrate Achievement and Assess

Time is incorporated to allow for consolidation so that children can secure their skills, knowledge and understanding.

The programme is underpinned by a set of seven core principles designed to support all teachers and children.

Core principles:

  • Systematic Progression
  • Regular Assessment
  • Early Intervention
  • Multisensory Approach
  • Co-operative Learning
  • Application of Skills
  • Reduced Workload and Collegiate Approach

Reading materials have been designed to support rapid and sustained progress and are well-matched to the scope and sequence of the programme. A comprehensive set of 68 decodable shared readers is

provided by the programme and additional materials that a school already has that match the sequence can be used to supplement early reading.

The FFT Success for All Phonics Scope and Sequence is set out clearly and provides detailed guidance and support for teachers to plan and deliver high quality lessons. A synthetic approach to teaching ‘pure sounds’ and the skills of segmenting and blending are incorporated into the teaching and learning materials.

Lessons are planned so that children build on their skills sequentially and systematically and can be adapted and modified to meet the needs of the children accordingly.

Training and support is offered through FFT Success for All Phonics and FFT and our school support staff through this training offer. All staff are given the skills, knowledge and understanding to deliver high- quality phonics lessons and to achieve strong and sustained pupil outcomes in phonics and early reading and writing.

Through the consistent, systematic and daily teaching of the FFT Success for All Phonics programme, our aim is for children to become fluent, confident readers by the end of Key Stage One.

Children are regularly assessed informally by the teacher within the lessons and over a sequence of lessons to ensure they keep up. If children need additional support, they are provided with keep-up sessions to ensure they stay on track with the rest of the class. More formal assessments are completed every half term using FFT’s Reading Assessment Programme (RAP) which covers all KS1 assessments including phonics skills, decoding, reading fluency, comprehension and the Year 1 phonics screening check.

Children who require further additional support (catch-up) are identified using a range of assessment information and will be supported through small group or one-to-one interventions.  

At the end of Year 1 children are statutorily assessed using the Phonics Screening Check. This screening check confirms whether the child has met the appropriate phonics standard and can be used diagnostically to identify areas that need further attention going forward. Children who do not meet the required standard will continue their phonics lessons so that they are ready to retake the screening at the end of Year 2.

Through the FFT Success for All Phonics programme and our commitment to phonics teaching, children will be equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding to decode unfamiliar words using a range of strategies. They will have a firm phonic base to support them on their literacy journey through school. They will develop their fluency and comprehension skills, take pleasure in exploring the rich literary world around them, acquire a love of reading and flourish as readers.