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North Ridge Community School English - North Ridge Community School


North Ridge Community School - English

Our Literacy & Phonics Curriculum  

At Northridge Community School we aim to teach the skills of reading and a love of reading so that our children: 

  • become curious learners who develop enjoyment and pleasure in reading 
  • understand the meaning of what is read to them and what they read 
  • respond to what they read  

Our teaching objectives cover these key areas:  

  1. Response to reading 
  2. Derive meaning from text 
  3. Word reading – phonics and understanding the meaning of new words 
  4. Comprehension – understanding what is read to them and what they can read 
  5. Comprehension – developing pleasure in reading  

By the time they leave Northridge Community School, we expect children to: 

  • Know a range of songs, rhymes and poems 
  • Listen attentively to books that are read to them 
  • Enjoy choosing books to engage with 
  • Access books independently and with other pupils 
  • Show an interest in the content of books 
  • Talk about the pictures in books
  • Tell someone why they liked/disliked a story 
  • Explore pictures in books 
  • Match pictures to words 
  • Match letters and short CVC words 
  • Recognise or read a growing repertoire of familiar words or symbols, including their own names 
  • Use their phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately 
  • Read and understand simple words and sentences 
  • Demonstrate understanding about what they have read when talking with others
  • Learn the meaning of new words 
  • Check the text makes sense 
  • Retell familiar stories in own words 
  • Make a prediction in a familiar story 
  • Talk about characters’ feelings 
  • Make some inferences on the basis of what is being said and done 

Across the school, children have access to more noisy books, books with characters that children know (Peppa Pig, The Gruffalo etc.), story sacks, puppets and musical instruments. Story sacks, massage stories and interactive story times are used to develop children’s enjoyment of and response to reading. For older pupils there are fiction books, comics, magazines and we have a subscription to ‘First News’ – a newspaper especially for children.  

Tips for helping your child to enjoy books: 

  • Encourage your child to pretend to ‘read’ a book before he or she can read words. 
  • Visit the library as often as possible – take out CDs and DVDs as well as books. 
  • Schedule a regular time for reading – perhaps when you get home from school or just before bed. 
  • Buy dual-language books if English isn’t your family’s first language – you can talk about books and stories, and develop a love for them, in any language. 
  • Look for books on topics that you know your child is interested in – maybe dragons, insects, cookery or a certain sport. 
  • Make sure that children’s books are easily accessible in different rooms around your house. 

This is a link to the letters and sounds document that we use to teach phonics in school – 

This is a link to Phase 1 of Letters and sounds DFE document – 

We are constantly developing our reading areas in classrooms:

Jupiter Class

How do We Use Letters and Sounds at North Ridge?

Letters and Sounds is used by many schools to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children.

What Are Phonics Phases?

Phases are the way the Letters and Sounds Programme is broken down to teach sounds in a certain order. At North Ridge School, although Teachers and Support staff have high expectations there is no time limit to moving through the phases and each student is taught to a personalised programme that allows them to learn at their own pace.

Phase One: EYFS and Primary

Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. The emphasis during Phase 1 is on getting children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. Phase 1 is divided into seven aspects. Each aspect contains three strands: Tuning in to sounds, Listening and remembering sounds and Talking about sounds. Activities are based around listening skills and recognising different sounds, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally for some pupils; oral blending and segmenting.

Phase 2: Throughout School

The purpose of Phase 2 is to teach at least 19 letters and move children on from oral blending and segmenting to blending and segmenting with letters. By the end of the phase children may be able to read some VC and CVC words and to spell them using magnetic letters, writing or symbols.

Letter Progression

Set 1: s, a, t, p

Set 2: i, n, m, d

Set 3: g, o, c, k

Set 4: ck, e, u, r

Set 5: h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss

Learning to blend and segment

Set 1: In Set 1 the first four letters are introduced and seven words can be made by segmenting and blending:

s, a, t, pat, a, sat, pat, tap, sap, as

Set 2: Set 2 includes four letters and the following new words can be made:

i it, is, sit, sat, pit, tip, pip, sip nan, in, nip, pan, pin, tin, tan, nap mam, man, mam, mat, map, Pam, Tim, Sam dad, and, sad, dim, dip, din, did, Sid

Set 3: Set 3 introduces four new letters (graphemes) with 28 new de-codable words suggested:

g tag, gag, gig, gap, nag, sag, gas, pig, dig

o got, on, not, pot, top, dog, pop, God, Mog

c can, cot, cop, cap, cat, cod

k kid, kit, Kim, Ken

Set 4: Set 4 introduces four new graphemes, with 36 new de-codable words suggested. For the first time some of the suggested words contain two syllables, such as pocket, sunset etc.

ck kick, sock, sack, dock, pick, sick, pack, ticket, pocket

e get, pet, ten, net, pen, peg, met, men, neck

u up, mum, run, mug, cup, sun, tuck, mud, sunset

r rim, rip, ram, rat, rag, rug, rot, rocket, carrot

Set 5: Set 5 introduces seven graphemes (three of which have two letters),

with 69 new de-codable words suggested.

h had, him, his, hot, hut, hop, hum, hit, hat, has, hack, hug

b but, big, back, bet, bad, bag, bed, bud, beg, bug, bun, bus, Ben, bat, bit,

bucket, beckon, rabbit

f, ff of, if, off, fit, fin, fun, fig, fog, puff, huff, cuff, fan, fat

l, ll lap, let, leg, lot, lit, bell, fill, doll, tell, sell, Bill, Nell, dull, laptop

ss ass, less, hiss, mass, mess, boss, fuss, hiss, pass, kiss, Tess, fusspot

What do the Phonics terms we use with students mean?

Phoneme: The smallest unit of sound in a word, e.g. c/a/t,  sh/o/p, t/ea/ch/er.

Grapheme: A letter or group of letter representing one sound, e.g. sh, igh, t.

Clip Phonemes:  when teaching sounds,always clip them short ‘mmmm’  not ‘muh’

Digraph: Two letters which together make one sound, e.g. sh, ch, ee, ph, oa.

Split digraph: Two letters, which work as a pair, split, to represent one sound, e.g. a-e as in cake, or i-e as in kite.

Trigraph:  three letters which together make one sound but cannot be separated into smaller phonemes, e.g. igh as in light, ear as in heard, tch as in watch.

Segmentation: means hearing the individual phonemes within a word – for instance the word ‘crash’ consists of four phonemes: ‘c – r – a – sh’. In order to spell this word, a child must segment it into its component phonemes and choose a grapheme to represent each phoneme.

Blendingmeans merging the individual phonemes together to pronounce a word. In order to read an unfamiliar word, a child must recognise (‘sound out’) each grapheme, not each letter (e.g. ‘th-i-n’ not ‘t-h-i-n’), and then merge the phonemes together to make the word.

Comprehension: understanding of language whether it is spoken or written.

Useful websites:


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