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St Mark’s Primary School

"'Let Your Light Shine' Matthew 5:16"

Early Reading & Phonics

Our Phonics Vision:


At Saint Mark’s we want our children to love reading. Children need to draw on a range of skills in order to read accurately and fluently; this includes phonics. Adults reading to children, children reading to adults, and the practice of phonic skills – all on a daily basis – are vital for developing confident and enthusiastic readers.


At St Mark’s we follow the Unlocking Letters and Sounds DfE validated and accredited phonics scheme from EYFS and throughout Key Stage 1.



Phonics Curriculum Overview: Intent, Implementation and Impact


Children develop their phonics skills through a systematic and rigorous daily phonics programme: ‘Unlocking Letters and Sounds’. Please see our phonics pacing document below. We show fidelity to this scheme and all our phonics resources are aligned to the programme. This is used throughout the school to teach phonemes, graphemes, common exception (sight) words and specific and relevant vocabulary related to phonics.

We track and monitor children’s progress in developing and applying their phonics knowledge using an online assessment tool called Phonics Tracker. This assessment tool is used by teachers to formatively assess children throughout each term, to inform teacher planning and address misconceptions. It is also used at specific points throughout the academic year as a summative assessment tool.


Common Exception Words are practised daily and children are encouraged to practise reading these words at home which can be found in their Home School Reading Diary.

Reading Books:

Books within the school are phonetically decodable and include common exception words. They are sequenced in the same order as the Unlocking Letters and Sounds pacing document and children are provided with a range of texts which are accurately matched to their phonic phase and assessments. The majority of our decodable books are published by Ransom House who are in partnership with Unlocking Letters and Sounds. Alongside Ransom House, we continue to utilise other decodable phonics books which have been accurately matched and are inline with the ULS pacing document.


At St Mark’s, children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 are given one fully decodable reading home book per week which is matched to their current, secure knowledge and understanding of GPCs (grapheme-phoneme correspondences). We strongly encourage the re-reading of this weekly home book, at least 3 times, to support a child’s decoding, fluency, comprehension and prosody which is inline with our expectation that each child reads aloud to an adult at least 5 times a week.


non-decodable sharing library book will also go home for families to share. Children choose these themselves from their class ‘reading for pleasure library box’. This is to support children in sharing a wide-range of books with their families so that they are exposed to a rich vocabulary and love of reading in the home environment. Children are not expected to read these sharing books. Adults are encouraged to sit alongside their children and enjoy sharing and reading aloud.

The Importance of Re-reading Phonically Decodable Books

Uploaded by St Peter's School, Portishead on 2021-01-20.

As a school, we understand that some families find it hard to prioritise reading and will need further support with this. At St Mark’s, we continually reach out to these families as well as provide opportunities for parents to attend reading and phonics sessions, led by our Early Reading and Phonics Lead and English Lead.

Resources for Parents

Please click below to view the Actions and Sounds for Phase 2 of their phonics learning:

Please click below to view the Actions and Sounds for Phase 2 & 3 of their phonics learning: