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John Betts Primary School

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At John Betts, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers thanks to a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Government approved Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.


The system is based on a six-phased progression scheme which is taught in Nursery (prior to the children’s arrival) through to Year Two.

Reception – Phases 2, 3 and starting 4

Year 1 – Revise Phase 3 and move on to Phase 4 and 5

Year 2 - Phase 6


As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At John Betts we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.


Daily phonics sessions are taught in Reception and Year 1. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lesson with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length 25-minute lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers. Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.

Each grapheme (the smallest unit of a writing system, such as a letter or a digraph) is introduced with a visual and an action to help children recall the sound. Handwriting is also supported as the formation phrase complements the visual cue for the grapheme. 

Phonics and Early Reading Workshop


School tours have now finished and will operate again throughout the autumn term in the next academic year 2024/2025 every Wednesday from 09.30-10.30. In September, please call the school on 02087482465 to book your place.