Welcome to St Swithun's Church of England Primary Academy. Valuing individuals, aspiring and achieving together in faith.

St Swithun's Church of England Primary Academy

Valuing individuals, aspiring and achieving together in faith


Valuing individuals, aspiring and achieving together in faith


  • We passionately believe that teaching children to read and write independently and as quickly as possible is one of the core purposes of a primary school. These fundamental skills not only hold the keys to the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances.
  • We believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond and is embedded across the entire curriculum for our children.
  • We strive for enthusiastic and motivated readers that gain confidence in reading a wide variety of genres and text types, encouraging a love of literature and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure.



We teach children to read effectively every day across the foundation stage through to key stage 1 using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme which provides a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics across a structured progression of 6 phases.


Phonics sessions are taught daily in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. They follow the order of  ‘Letters and Sounds’. The programme focuses on securing word recognition skills, essential for children to decode (read) and encode (spell) words accurately and language comprehension.They are taught following a six phase programme and follow the same lesson structure each day for 20 minutes to help ensure that by the end of Key Stage 1 children develop fluent word reading skills and good foundations in spelling.

 All phonics sessions follow the same four part teaching sequence:


•Revisit and review- where previously taught sounds are revised.

•Teach- new sounds or tricky words are taught.

•Practice- reading and writing letters and words with the new sound in.

•Apply- read and writing caption and sentences with the new sound in.


At the end of Year 1 your child will complete a phonics assessment which is made up of real and nonsense words. This assesses how well children can use their knowledge of phonics to read words. You will be told your child’s result at the end of Year 1 and if your child has or has not met the benchmark grade. If your child doesn’t achieve the benchmark grade then further intensive support will be given in Year 2.


  • Pupils who are still struggling to decode and spell are identified quickly and differentiated sessions are targeted ensuring pupils continue to make good progress.
  • Pupils go onto deepen their phonics skills through practise in reading books, their literacy work and across the whole wider curriculum, ensuring that phonic knowledge and skills are consistently practiced and secured. Classrooms are well resourced with phonics walls and phonics tools kits which are readily available empowering pupils to independently make correct spelling choices.
  • We strongly believe that working in partnership with parents is key to unlocking success. We therefore also take parents on a phonics journey, offering a weekly phonics workshop where they developed key skills together which can be then shared at home.
  • Pupils are given the opportunity to listen to an extensive array of high quality books during ‘story time’ at the end of each school day across the whole school developing a shared love, passion and enjoyment of reading.
  • Drama and role-play contribute to the quality of pupils’ learning by providing opportunities for pupils to develop and order their ideas through play and trying out language they have listened to.



  • Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One.
  • In addition to this we ensure our children are enthusiastic and motivated readers who are inspired by literature and read for pleasure.
  • Throughout the teaching of Phonics, we are able to measure attainment using the Key Stage One national assessments, along with the information provided by the Phonics Screening check in Year One.

The Curriculum Leader for Phonics and Early Reading is: Mrs Christa Mitchinson