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Phonics & Reading


Since September 2022 we have been using Twinkl Phonics as our chosen phonics scheme.

It is a complete, systematic, synthetic phonics approach which has been validated by the DfE.

Parent's guide to Twinkl phonics


At St Mary’s, Reading is taught using the VIPERS approach, from Year 1 to Year 6. Each week of every half term has a specific domain skill focus, so across the year each domain is revisited 6 times. Teachers predominantly use whole texts (narratives) to teach each domain from. Children are therefore engaging more with lessons as they are hooked on the text. Throughout the half term, children are also exposed to Non-Fiction texts and poetry. VIPERS whole class reading skills lessons happen Monday to Thursday and on Fridays we have our Reading for Pleasure session. This is a chance for children to: share what they are reading at home, make recommendations to their peers and just share the love of reading.

Since using Twinkl Phonics, we have also adopted their Home Reading scheme – Rhino Readers. EYFS and Key Stage 1 children take home Rhino Readers books to practise their sounds and improve reading fluency. These books are matched to their assessed level and are all fully decodable. Any children in Key Stage 2 receiving Phonics intervention will also take home Rhino Readers matched to their ability.  Key Stage 2 children are assessed half-termly and take home books matched to their Reading Age.

All children are listened to read weekly by an adult in school – this allows teachers to track the progress of the children’s reading aloud ability, their fluency and prosody.

Shared Class Read is timetabled for all classes, straight after lunch.  High quality texts are shared and read by an adult in full. This helps to expose the children to a wider range of texts and embed the reading culture of the school. It is an opportunity for Teachers to model fluency and prosody.

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