Phonics at Slindon


Our aim at Slindon C of E Primary School is to develop and entrench a strong, sustainable reading for pleasure culture within the school community where child-led volitional reading is evident in all aspects of school life. As part of our schools vision for reading, we want our children to be excited and inspired by books and grow into adults who will actively choose to read.

We provide opportunities for all children to access, experience, discuss and explore reading opportunities in an enabling environment. We aim for every child to leave Slindon C of E Primary School with the skills and knowledge of a confident reader and a love for reading.

At Slindon C of E Primary School we encourage children to explore a wide range of literature and develop preferences through which we aim to celebrate the unique child and build the confidence of all children. The communicative nature of Phonics and Early Reading education is built on a foundation of positive relationships where staff work closely with children to develop key skills for communication.

Our school employs the systematic synthetic phonics program 'Phonics Shed'.  This scheme aims to support children in developing their segmenting and blending skills, which are essential for reading success. At Slindon C of E Primary School we also focus on the development of comprehension skills, which enable our children to develop a deeper understanding of the text and to help to open up a world of imagination.

When selecting our approved systematic synthetic phonics scheme it was vital to explore what expectations we had from any new scheme and how best it would fit the needs of all our children. We wanted a scheme that would support children's development of key skills such as pronunciation, segmenting, blending, and spelling in an engaging manner and multi sensory approach.  We researched a range of DFE approved Phonics schemes, including observing lessons in action, before choosing 'Phonics Shed'.  Choosing 'Phonics Shed' meant that we can not only develop the key skills and knowledge within EYFS and KS1 but also this leads to a cohesion across school as we already used 'Spelling Shed' within KS2.



At Slindon C of E Primary School, we have ensured fidelity to the teaching of phonics and early reading across the school by providing full training in the Phonics Shed program to all teaching and support staff.  Phonics is taught for an hour each day in Key Stage One.  The children in the Early Years Foundation Stage will initially access 20 minutes of direct Phonics teaching which will increase to an hour by the summer term.  Phonics also forms part of the extended provision within the EYFS curriculum and children are engaged in the use of phonics and early reading skills within their independent learning.

Phonics Shed is a comprehensive systematic synthetic phonic scheme of work.  Lessons are taught in year groups linked to the Phonics Phases of development.  The Phonics Shed program has built in consolidation, assessment and intervention weeks that are fully planned for and aims to prepare children for the Year One Phonics Screen Check.  All staff are proficient in carrying out formative assessments to monitor children’s ongoing progress.  They are able to identify early those children who are not on track to make expected progress in phonics in line with passing Phonic Screening Check, and therefore can implement and facilitate early interventions.

Children are encouraged to develop a love of reading by immersing themselves in a Literacy rich environment. Children share books on a daily basis by both choosing books they want to read and listening to texts being read to them.  Children also engage in Paired/Share reading, Whole Class Guided Reading, Group Guided Reading and independent reading.  

We are fortunate to have a range of volunteers from the local community who also regularly read with the children on a 1-1 supporting children’s early reading with guidance from the teachers and teaching assistants.

All home reading books are linked to the Phonic Shed scheme and are organised accordingly in sets for the children to choose from.  However, we also use supplementary resources and texts to support the breadth of understanding of our children.  We refer to these in school as ‘Love to Read’ books.  These books are available both in individual classrooms and in the library and are indicated by a red heart sticker on the front cover.  This sticker indicates to the reader that the book is not supported by the Phonics Scheme and may not be fully decodable at the child’s reading level.  These books may just require a little extra support to decode fully.  These books are ideal for parent / carers to share together to promote a love for reading!

For more information about the Phonics Shed scheme, please visit: