Phonics and Early Reading at Ursula Taylor C of E School
At Ursula Taylor we follow the DfE Validated 'Supersonic Phonics Friends' Scheme.
This is a progressive scheme which moves from the simple to the complex, moving through different grioups of sounds and giving a wide range of opportunities and experiences for children to acquire Phonic Knowledge and the skills of early reading. 
Supersonic Phonic Friends moves through the following content:
  • Firm Foundations in Phonics 1 - general sound discrimination and phonological awareness.
  • Reception: The Basics 2  - Listen, Recognise, Build, Read and Write.
  • Reception: The Basics 3  -  Recognise, Build and Write.
  • Year 1: Adjacent Consonants and The Higher Levels. The Basics 4 - Recognise, Build, Read and Write.
  • Higher Levels of Phonics 5  c and b - Recognise, Build, read and Write.
Firm Foundations in Phonics 1
This covers;
General Sound Discrimination through the aspects of; Environment Sounds, Instrumental Sounds and Body Percussion.
Phonological Awareness through the aspects of; Rhythm and Rhyme, Alliteration, Voice Sounds and Oral Blending and Segmenting.
The Strands covered include: 
  • Tuning into Sounds (auditory discrimination)
  • Listening and Remembering Sounds (Auditory memory and sequencing)
  • Talking about Sounds (Developing vocabulary and language comprehension)
Reception: The Basics 2. Listen, Recognise, Build, Read and Write.
This covers 18 of the 44 sounds of the English Language. Children will use their Auditory Processing and Memory Skills from the Firm Foundations, previously covered. They will start to recognise the sounds to segment and build with, read and blend and write. 
At the end of this Phase children will be able to hear up to 3 sounds in words, recognise spellings and read and write simple CVC words with the 18 spellings for sounds. 
Securing The Basics 2  CVC Tricky Words
Group 1:  s, a, t, p   N/A
Group 2:  i, n, m, d    I, is
Group 3:  g, o, c, k   the, to, 
Group 4:  ck, e, u, r,    go, no, 
Group 5:  h, b, f, l,   has, his, as, 
Group 6:  ll, ff, ss   of, into
 Reception: The Basics 3. Recognise, Build, Read and Write. 
The Basics 3 teaches the children the further 26 of the 44 sounds of the English Language. Children will use their auditory processing and memory skills from Firm Foundations in Phonics 1 and The Basics 2 skills to continue to recognise the spelling for sounds, segment and build, read and blend and write. They will learn skills to choose which sounds to use and begin to switch sounds for alternative pronunciations. 
At the end of this phase children will be able to hear up to 3 sounds in words, recognise spellings and read and write simple and complex CVC words with the 44 spellings for sounds. 
Securing The Basics 3  CVC Tricky Words
Group 1:  j, v, w, x   her, was, you
Group 2:  y, z, zz, qu   he, she, we, me, be
Group 3:  ch, sh, th, ng   they, my, by
Group 4:  ai, ee, igh, oa   are, all
Group 5:  oo, oo, ar, or   some, come 
Group 6:  ur, ow, oi, er   so, do
Group 7:  ure, ear, air little, out
 Year 1: The Basics 4. Recognise, Build Read and Write.
This phase moves from 3 sounds  (CVC) to four plus sounds. (CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC, CCCVCC)
The Basics 4 teaches children to be able to hear more than three sounds in a word. They continue to embed their mastery of The basics 2 and 3 spellings for sounds in words and progress to 4, 5 and 6 sounds in a word. Children will also start to listen and hear tricky adjacent consonants and read tricky words and nonsense (pseudo) words. 
Securing The Basics 4. Adjacent Consonants.  Tricky Words     
Group 1: CVCC  were, what, like, have
Group 2: CVCC and Polysyllabic there, here, said, one
Group 3: CCVC  house, when, our, your
Group 4: CCVC and Polysyllabic love, school
Group 5: CCVCC  CCCVCC and Polysyllabic them, then, that, this
 The Higher Levels of Phonics 5 c and b - Recognise, Build, Read and Write.
The phase teaches the children the concept that there are more than one spelling for a sounds that they can hear in a word. They will find out about 'sounds the same but looks different' and choosing spelling rules for the 44 sounds of the English Language. 
Children will also switch in and out different spelling sounds where one spelling can make up to 2 different sounds in words. They will be able to read decodable texts with the Basics to High Level spellings including adjacent consonants and make more accurate attempts in their further stages of spelling in their writing journey. 
The Higher Levels - Choose to use spellings. Tricky Words
Group 1
Choose to use Two
ai and ay, ee and ea, igh and ie, oa and oe, oo and ue their, people, Mr, Mrs
Group 2
Choose to use - Split - Digraph
ai, ay and a_e, ee, ea and e_e, igh, ie and i_e, oa, oe and o_e, oo and ue and u_e oh, these, friend, asked
Group 3
Choose to use Two
oi and oy, ur and ir, ow and ou, or and aw, w and wh where, today, once
Group 4
Choose to use Two and Three
air and are, n and kn, r and wr, f and ff and ph, or, aw and au could, should, would. called
Group 5
Choose to use Three and Four
n, kn and gn,
or, aw, au and ore,
ee, ea, e_e and ey,
ee, ea, e_e, ey and y
oo, ue, u_e and ew
looked, son, says, want
Group 6
Choose to Use
air, are and ear
ur, ir, and or
ch and tch
j and dge
ur, ir, or and er
after, half, only, with 

The Higher Levels

Switch it Spell Sounds
Tricky Words
Group 1
Switch it
i, o, c, g
sixth and wild, 
frog and old
crisp and cement
growl and gem
does, goes, tall, call, small, laughed
Group 2
Switch it
u, ow, ie, ea
underpants and tuba
clown and yellow
pie and chief
dream and bread
why, over, above. live, please
Group 3
Switch it
a, a, ou, o
apple and angel
apple, angel and watch
Mouse and mouldy
frog, old and monk
water, because, break, work
Group 4
Switch it
y, y, ch, ch, ou
yellow and cry,
yellow, cry and crystal,
children and chef
children, chef and chorus
who, any, many, move, eye
Our Reading Scheme
The reading scheme we have at UTS begins in Foundation Stage with children being provided with books which link directly to the phase of Phonics that they are learning about. Children work through the phases/sets in a particular order, gradually learning new sounds in a sequence of lessons. These sounds link to the children's writing, with children being taught to write cursively as they learn the sounds. 
This is a successful strategy which we complement by giving children books aimed at the phase/set they are working on. The books gradually increase in difficulty as the children increase their knowledge of phonics. Once children are reading fluently and are confidently using many of the Year 1 sounds, they move onto the main school reading scheme. The main school scheme is made up of many commercially purchased schemes, with a wide variety of text types, genres and a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. 
Some children will have a main scheme book and also a phonics focused book to ensure they are reading at the level which is appropriate for them. Each child has an individual program to follow and is moved to the next colour band when they are ready. 
We also provide all children with a library book to read alongside the reading scheme book. This is to give children the chance to choose their own books and also to give something for parents to share with children at home. It is very important that children are read to, to develop their knowledge of texts, vocabulary and to access stories and books which would be too hard for them to read to themselves. 
Our reading scheme follows the 'Book Bands' system, which is widely used by Primary Schools to organise texts by their level of difficulty. The order of the colour bands is as follows:
Lilac (non-word), Pink, Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, Orange, Turquoise, Purple, Gold, White, Lime,
Brown, Grey, Dark Blue, Maroon and Black. 
The document below describes this in more detail, explaining which colours are related to each year group.
Key Stage 2 Reading Intent, Implementation and Impact


We aim to expose children to a wide-range of quality texts that will foster a life-long love of reading. We want children to leave our school reading fluently, accurately and with expression. Children will develop a secure knowledge of vocabulary and grammar so they can understand a wide range of text types such as traditional stories, reports, instructions and persuasive writing.  

Books shared with the children have been carefully selected so that stories can be ‘mirrors’, ‘windows’ and ‘doors’ for the children to learn about themselves and the world around them.

Mirror stories allow children to see themselves and their lives reflected in them. Window stories help the children understand the lives of people who are different from them and better understand the world around them. Door stories can transport the reader into a different world; the world of the story.


Whole Class Reading

In KS2 Whole Class Reading sessions are taught each week. Children study a book through each term with poems and non-fiction extracts included to supplement the main text.  Each session teaches the children key vocabulary and contextual knowledge they need to understand the text. The children have time to develop fluency of reading to develop reading stamina, pace and expression. Comprehension questions, drama and writing opportunities are then used to interrogate the text further.

Individual Readers

Teachers and class TAs hear children read individually at least fortnightly with targeted children heard more regularly. In addition, children are heard read as part of whole class reading lessons and reading in other subjects. Pink (praise) and green (next step) comments are written in Learning logs so parents are kept updated and can support their children at home.

Reading Intervention

Children who need extra support in reading are quickly identified through careful monitoring. Additional guided reading groups, targeted one to one reading, phonic intervention and adapted or scaffolded tasks in whole class reading lessons are used to support them.

 Reading Environments

We believe that our social reading environments are very important to enable and enthuse the children with reading. Each classroom has an inviting book corner and a wide range of reading books. All children choose a reading book to take home and this reading book is changed weekly. We have displays around the school and in classes linked to reading, texts and authors.

Books linked to each term’s History, Geography, RE and Science lessons are displayed in class. Opportunities to read across the curriculum are regularly added to lessons to further develop reading fluency and vocabulary.

Whole School Book

Children are read to each day by their class teacher. This book is a Whole School book where each class reads the same texts and there is class discussion about the book and its vocabulary.

Reading Role Models

Teachers promote themselves as readers. They discuss reading preferences and recommend books to children. Classrooms display what the teacher is currently reading to promote discussion.

A group of Year 6 pupils act as reading ambassadors. Meeting weekly they organise activities to foster reading for pleasure across the school, such as World Book Day and developing use of the library.

Children are selected each week to read bible readings and prayers in whole school worship, providing an aspiration for younger children in the school.  


We have a well-stocked library with a range of fiction, poetry and non-fiction texts. Displays are used to promote different books and encourage children to try different types of books.  Weekly library visits are encouraged and reading ambassadors run lunch time and story sessions for younger children.


Reading is formally assessed each term using reading comprehension tests. Children’s progress in reading is tracked using reading TAFs (teacher assessment framework) so gaps can be quickly identified.


By the time children leave Ursula Taylor, they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader. They can also read books to enhance their knowledge and understanding of all subjects on the curriculum, and communicate their research to a wider audience.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation of the impact on children’s learning includes regular monitoring of books by the subject coordinator, learning and environment walks, pupil-voice interviews as well as monitoring half-termly progress data.