Reading and Phonics

Phonics and Early READING

Here at St Paulinus, we are passionate about teaching children to read. We follow the Floppy Phonics scheme to teach Synthetic Systematic Phonics (SSP). We also use the Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme. Rooted in reading for pleasure and with systematic phonics at its heart, Oxford Reading Tree’s well-loved characters, breadth and high-quality resources give our learners everything they need to become confident readers. In Reception and Year 1 we teach reading comprehension through our progressive whole class “Magic of Story” curriculum using fiction and non-fiction picture books and poetry. In Year 2 we progress to a whole class reading approach which uses a wider variety of texts including chapter books.


PHONICS: Floppy Phonics


Here at St Paulinus, we follow Floppy’s Phonics Programme.


The Floppy’s Phonics programme teaches the letter/s-sound correspondences of the English alphabetic code explicitly and comprehensively for reading, spelling and handwriting:

  • Systematic and structured with inbuilt rigorous revision to ensure the success of every child
  • Includes the characters of Floppy the dog, Biff, Chip and Kipper and their family and friends, with hundreds of colour pictures to engage children fully for the phonics teaching & learning, vocabulary enrichment and language comprehension
  • Rigorous teaching sequence ensuring the phonics teaching & learning is straightforward, effective and allows for differentiation in simple, but effective, ways
  • Builds up knowledge of spelling word banks over time where words are spelt with the same letter/s-sound correspondences


Each child has an individual reading book and record which is read in school to an adult and taken home daily. It is changed at least once a week.

We have a Key Stage 1 and a separate Key Stage 2 library and children have access to this once a week.


Phonics screening check

The phonics screening check is a short, simple assessment to make sure that all pupils have learned phonic decoding to an appropriate standard by the age of 6. All year 1 pupils in maintained schools, academies and free schools must complete the check, in June.

The phonics check helps teachers identify the children who need extra help so they can receive the support they need to improve their reading skills. These children will then be able to retake the check in year 2.

The check comprises a list of 40 words, 20 real words and 20 non-words which the child will read one-to-one with a teacher.

In Autumn Term each year we run a “Fun with Phonics” session for parents where we explain all about the Phonics Screening Check and talk about ways, we can support parents and carers to help their children. At the workshop, we recommend suitable high-quality resources. 

Here is a link that provides sample materials and a training video for adults.



What arrangements are in place for children who do not pass the phonics screening check in year 2?

  • As part of the transition process, Y2 teachers pass on key information about children including whether children passed their phonics re-test
  • In September, teachers in every class carry out a phonics check to identify gaps and set next steps for each child according to their phonics ability
  • We have a specific intervention programme to support these learners and learners will receive phonics teaching until they can read. Any learner new to school are assessed in phonics and start learning at the appropriate level.
  • Teachers have been supported by the Phonics Lead to ensure that learners have reading books matched to their phonics ability
  • We have a wide range of scheme books that have been bought to engage children.


Phonics Development

In July 2021 we began a partnership with Jerry Clay English Hub. All staff have received initial training sessions to ensure that phonics lessons are delivered accurately and resources are consistent in every classroom across the school. Ongoing CPD and coaching sessions for all staff take place to monitor the implementation of the phonics scheme so that all pupils make accelerated progress in the reading of sounds and words. Staff teaching reading receive weekly training from the Phonics Lead.