“At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book—that string of confused, alien ciphers—shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader.” - Alberto Manguel 

At Oatlands Infant School, we are intent on supporting all children to become independent, accurate, and enthusiastic readers. We strive to provide every child with the skills they need to access all elements of our language rich curriculum, and for their individual future success.

Supersonic Reading

Our Phonics Programme

In 2022 we introduced our SSP programme, Supersonic Phonic Friends. Supersonic Phonic Friends is a fully systematic synthetic phonic approach, ranging from Firm Foundations in Phonics to the Higher Levels of Phonics and Year 1 and Year 2 spelling rules. The programme focuses on active engagement, absolute consistency, and strong phonic foundations for all. For our children, who join us from a range of different nursery settings, the continuation of pre-phonics skills throughout Supersonic Phonic Friends is integral. Also, the consistency throughout all stages, including spelling rules in Year 2, ensures clear progression for all children as they move through the school.

Our Approach to Teaching Phonics

Every child at Oatlands receives a discrete phonics lesson every day. Each lesson follows Supersonic Phonic Friends consistent progression, allowing children to gradually build up their knowledge and grow in confidence. All lessons follow the four part structure, giving children the opportunity to review their previous learning, add new learning, which is then practised through both reading and writing/building words, and finally applied in an activity.

Every Phonics lesson at Oatlands is:

  • Active, engaging, and interactive
  • Accurately matched to the children’s current phonic knowledge
  • Filled with opportunities to reinforce phonological awareness


Teaching Progression

Our Phonics curriculum begins the moment children start in Reception, with The Firm Foundations of Supersonic Phonic Friends. Before children start to read and write, we ensure that each and every one of them has a strong base of phonological awareness. Through activities focusing on areas such as rhythm, rhyme, sound discrimination, and oral blending, they build up the knowledge they need to access their next stage of Phonics.


The Supersonic Phonic Friends programme then continues teaching the children new sounds and spellings as they move through school. This starts with simple single letters and moves on to more complex sounds made up of two or three letters at once, before exploring alternate spellings and pronunciations of sounds, and finally exploring spelling rules. Alongside which, children learn a range of 'tricky words' that do not follow the standard spelling or pronunciations they have learnt at that point. 

Decodable Reading Books

Outside our daily phonics sessions, children are also given opportunities to practise their phonics skills through their decodable reading, both in school and at home. Each child receives a fully decodable book each week, carefully matched to their secure phonic knowledge, to read every week. We recommend all children read this book frequently, in short bursts, to give them plenty of opportunities to practise their phonics skills.


Supersonic Reading!

As part of our mission to make all children independent, accurate, and enthusiastic readers; we have put together some guidance to support all adults when listening to children read their phonics books.

  • We support children in taking ownership of their reading in ways such as, holding their own book, tracking the words they are reading with their ‘bossy phonics finger’, and making attempts at all words before we help.
  • We focus on the word reading when reading phonics books to ensure children are getting the most out of the session. Rather than asking questions about the children’s understanding, spend the time focusing on their phonics skills. Shared stories, for example bedtime stories, are the perfect time for in depth book talk!
  • We want children to enjoy their time reading and not find it so taxing they no longer want to do it. Because of this, reading sessions are best when they are little and often! 5 minutes is plenty of time to get some excellent phonics practise!

Phonics at Home

Pronouncing the sounds in Phonics can be quite tricky! To help with this, the video below shows the correct way to ensure you are using the pure sound which makes it easiest for children to read and write effectively.

Reception Phonics Information Meeting

SEND and Inclusion in English & Phonics

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