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Kintbury St.Mary's CE Primary School

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Phonics and Reading



Phonics and Reading

Phonics and Reading skills are taught at Kintbury St. Mary’s CE Primary School through StoryTime Phonics and using the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme. Meet the Phonics Fairy by watching the clip below!

StoryTime Phonics is devised by Literacy Consultant Michelle Larbey. It is a new, holistic, whole-class approach to learning to read. A joyful yet systematic approach that uses REAL books to contextualise the phonemes (sounds). Rooted in research (Wyse and Goswami), the programme is practical in practice. High-quality texts by best-loved authors ensure high-level engagement at every stage.


Children begin the StoryTime Phonics programme at the start of Reception year after the baseline assessments are complete, and continue across Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2). Every child between Reception and Year 2 has a 25-minute phonics session every morning.


The StoryTime Phonics programme is separated into six Phases - your child's teacher will be able to tell you which Phase your child is currently working on. If you require any further support, please come into school and speak with our Phonics Leader, Miss Floyd.


There are 26 letters in the alphabet, but they make 44 different sounds. These sounds are known as ‘phonemes’. We are often asked how each phoneme is pronounced. Watch the clip below to hear the pronunciation of each sound:

Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl

Each phoneme is introduced through a popular child’s fiction book to contextualise the sounds children are learning – for example the phoneme ‘ew’ is taught through the book ‘Dragon Stew’ by Steve Smallman.


We have a special character called ‘The Phonics Fairy’ who delivers the special books to us in a lovely bag sprinkled with her fairy glitter. We take our learning all around the school; from searching for ‘sharks in the park’ in our outdoor area when learning ‘ar’, to riding the train in the playground to learn the ‘oi’ phoneme. We also have a ‘Tricky Troll’ who tries to trick the children with ‘tricky words’, which are words that can’t be read using our phonics (e.g. ‘The’ and ‘I’).


We understand that the terminology we use when teaching phonics can be quite confusing! We hope the following glossary is useful to you. Always feel free to come in and talk to us if you require any further support, and please make sure to attend the phonics workshops for your child’s year group.

There are six different phases used in this scheme which we follow:

The Pedagogy behind Storytime Phonics

The ‘Simple View of Reading’ final report by Sir Jim Rose 2006 for the National Literacy Trust, which informed and was embodied within the National Curriculum in 2013, defines the two key dimensions that identify reading skills as; ‘word recognition’ and ‘language comprehension’. It is a love of books that can, and should, be instilled long before any decoding happens – and should be at the forefront of our minds and central to our lessons.

Watch this clip to see why we have chosen to teach Phonics using the StoryTime Phonics scheme:

Reading Revolution!

If you require more information about our approach to Phonics, please read our Phonics Policy.