Phonics and Reading Schemes Used In EYFS and Key Stage 1

Oxford Reading Tree Reading Scheme

At South Wilford the main reading scheme that we use in Reception, Years 1 and 2 is the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme. Known as “The UK’s number one reading programme” it has inspired a love of reading in over 30 million children worldwide. Aside from the much-loved characters these delightful stories have fun, familiar settings which children can really relate to and are packed full of humour enjoyed by teachers, parents and children alike. This market-leading reading scheme is perfect for supporting individual reading as well as group and whole-class work. It is divided into stages which are colour coded and book-banded for ease-of-use.

Phonics Scheme

In Reception we use the Government ‘Letters and Sounds’ document to inform our phonics planning alongside the Jolly Phonics songs and actions to enable us to teach using a multi-sensory approach. A multi-sensory approach using auditory, visual and kinethetic pathways is beneficial to learning as it gives multiple pathways for the information to reach the brain. We also send home the first 100 High Frequency words suggested by the UK’s Letters and Sounds phonics programme which help children learning to read when they are recognised by sight. Information on Letters and Sounds, Jolly Phonics and High Frequency words is included below.

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims 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 starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

Jolly Phonics is a fun and child centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for children and teachers, who can see their students achieve.

High frequency words are quite simply those words which occur most frequently in written material, for example, “and”, “the”, “as” and “it”. They are often words that have little meaning on their own, but they do contribute a great deal to the meaning of a sentence. Some of the high frequency words can be sounded out using basic phonic rules, e.g. “it” is an easy word to read using phonics. However, many of the high frequency words are not phonically regular and are therefore hard to read in the early stages. These words are sometimes called tricky words, sight words or camera words. In addition to being difficult to sound out, most of the high frequency words have a rather abstract meaning which is hard to explain to a child. It’s easy to learn words like “cat” and “house” because they can easily be related to a real object or a picture, but how do you represent the word “the” or “of”?

Why learn the 100 high frequency words?
Researchers reckon that learning just 13 of the most frequently used words will enable children to read 25% of any text (OK, that 25% wouldn’t make much sense on its own, but it’s a very good start).

Learning 100 high frequency words gives a beginner reader access to 50% of virtually any text, whether a children’s book or a newspaper report.

When you couple immediate recognition of the high frequency sight words with a good knowledge of basic phonics, that’s when a child’s reading can really take off.