Phonics & Spelling Schemes

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Phonics and Reading Schemes

Here at Blacklow Brow School Read, Write, inc for early reading and phonics development.

Read Write Inc

In 2019, 93% of children at Blacklow Brow School passed the phonics screening check in Y1 which was 11% above the National Average.

Read Write Inc. is a method of learning centered on letter sounds and phonics, and we use it here at Blacklow Brow School to aid children in their literacy.
Read Write Inc. Phonics teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. They learn to form each letter, spell correctly, and compose their ideas step-by-step.
Using Read Write Inc. the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.
Children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes.

They experience success from the very beginning. Lively phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases.

Along with a thought-provoking introduction, prompts for thinking out loud and discussion, children are helped to read with a storyteller’s voice


Spelling Scheme / Spelling Shed

Learning and spelling words are important to your child’s future. Spelling words help lay the basic foundation that your child will need throughout their education and life. Spelling is important because it aids in reading. It helps cement the connection that is shared between sounds and letters.

At Blacklow Brow school we use the ‘Spelling Shed’ app to help our children to learn their spellings. The Spelling shed is a whole school spelling scheme giving 100% coverage of the national curriculum. It is fully controlled by the class teacher and enables each child to have custom spelling lists created for their ability. The scheme is accessible at home on a tablet or phone so that children can practice their spellings as part of their homework in a fun and engaging platform with games to play.

Teachers set weekly spellings to be tested in school and these are set via the app. The spelling shed is dyslexia friendly using the ‘open dyslexic’ font and has three levels of difficulty to support pupils of all abilities through appropriate challenge.

Parents at Blacklow Brow School say the spelling app engages their children and provides interesting ways of practising and embedding spellings.

In Year 2, there is a keener focus on independence and structure of the spelling week. Children are given up to 10 spellings that are linked to the statutory government guidelines for spelling rules and common misconception words that children are expected to know and use independently by the end of Year 2.

When children begin Key Stage 2, spelling list of up to 15 words are given out on a Monday and then tested on a Friday. Spelling rules and common misconception words – in line with the statutory government guidelines – are the key focus in each of the year groups. However, if a child requires subtle changes in the spelling structure to match their spelling age, then teachers are at liberty to alter the words. Children in Key Stage 2 follow a weekly timetable as identified below:

Day 1 – Monday

Hear and say:  Introduce the words-

  • Ask the children what type of focus it is (homophone/ prefix/ suffix) where would you find this part of the word?
  • Does the child know the meaning of the word, use word in a sentence to clarify?
  • Children to create a word search using their spellings and ask a sibling or adult to find the words when completed.

Day 2 – Tuesday

  • Dictionary definitions – find the definitions to new words in dictionary/internet and then record them in their books.

Day 3 – Wednesday

  • Spelling sentences – create own sentences containing spelling word.

Day 4 – Thursday

  • Spelling menu activities – have a copy of spelling menu, children choose activities to complete and record in their books.

Day 5 – Friday

  • Spelling test of the week’s spellings. Record score in the back of their books.

Throughout this process, we believe that the children in Blacklow Brow School leave ready to apply the age-appropriate spellings in their independent work in secondary school.

Throughout each year group, the children are assessed using a Single Word Spelling Test that gives the teachers an indication of where the children are in terms of their spelling knowledge and the test then gives the teacher a spelling age. From this result, teachers then identify children who need additional support through intervention strategies and plan accordingly with the Teaching and Learning lead and Teaching Assistants are then informed and have time to work with the individual children.



Collins Big Cat

Collins Big Cat, is a whole-school reading programme that supports every child on their reading journey. Children become fluent readers through hundreds of high-quality banded books by top authors and illustrators. In-depth teacher resources support all stages from early reading through phonics to guided and independent reading for more confident readers.

We have fantastic fiction and non-fiction created by the biggest authors and illustrators. With hundreds of books across a wide variety of genres, illustrative styles and engaging formats, there is something for every reader.

Every book is unique – the wide range of exciting fiction includes much-loved classics, traditional tales, poetry and plays, while the exciting range of non-fiction encourages your pupils to explore topics from sport to science.

Oxford Reading Tree

As the UK’s most successful reading scheme, Oxford Reading Tree is currently used in over 80% of primary schools and has helped millions of children from all over the world learn to read … and love to read. Rooted in reading for pleasure and with systematic phonics at its heart, Oxford Reading Tree’s well-loved characters, breadth (over 800 books!) and varied writing styles give children everything they need to become confident readers.

At school, and at home

Schools across the world use Oxford Reading Tree books, including series such as Floppy’s Phonics, Biff, Chip and Kipper, Traditional Tales, Songbirds Phonics, in fact, and Story Sparks. A separate range of books, each containing supporting notes for parents, has been created to support learning at home.


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