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St James

Church School

Love God, Love Others, Love Ourselves.

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Phonics and Early Reading

At St James we teach phonics using Bug Club. The Phases progress from early speaking and listening skills in Phase 1 to learning the sounds, blending and segmenting CVC and then more complex words with alternative graphemes and phonemes learnt in Phase 5.  We use visual and kinaesthetic resources including Jolly Phonics’ to support our ‘multi-sensory’ approach to learning the phonemes and graphemes in the early Phases.  Children start their systematic phonics on entry to the Reception class and are taught daily in whole class groups, followed by smaller group sessions.

Our early readers read at least twice weekly in their reading groups and sometimes individually if that is more appropriate.  Children also have access to a wide range of individual reading books through the online Bug Club.  The use of phonetically decodable books encourages the use of phonics as the first approach to reading unknown words. Parents are encouraged to attend workshops where they are given advice and encouraged to support the use of phonics as the first approach.  Alongside this, sight words are taught to speed up decoding.  The reading books in school are organised in coloured bands which allow children to read books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge. Have a look at some of our exciting books available in school and online below: 

Useful websites


Please select one of the links below to find out more about some of the schemes mentioned above.