At Sambourne we are highly successful at teaching phonics. For the last two years we have achieved scores well-above the national and Wiltshire average in the Year 1 phonic tests.

We use the Letters and Sounds programme to support children’s phonological development. This is a six-phase systematic, synthetic phonics programme designed to help children to be fluent readers by the age of seven. It focuses on high quality phonics, using blending and segmentation techniques. This aims to teach the children the correspondences between sounds (phonemes) in spoken and language and letters (graphemes) in written language. These correspondences help the children to read and spell words.


Key Words and Spellings

High frequency words are the words that appear most often in printed materials. Some of the high frequency words are called ‘common exception words’ because the children are unable to use their phonic knowledge to decode every part of the word.

At Sambourne we are committed to supporting the children learn to read and then spell these words. Learning to recognise the high frequency words on sight is crucial in developing fluency and accuracy in reading and then writing.

We use an in-house spelling programme throughout the school to teach the spelling expectations of the National Curriculum. Spellings are learnt in class and as part of home learning and are tested each week. Children are encouraged to improve their personal bests in their tests.