Fostering a love of reading is a huge focus at Harriers Banbury Academy.  In Early Years we consistently encourage reading and the daily practice of reading within the structure of our day.  Every week, each child is read with individually 3 times minimum.  Children partake in daily phonics, and we also run second phonics lessons during the day to practise the skills that have been learned in the morning. We follow our scheme with fidelity, this is outlined below.

Phonics books are sent home every Monday that relate to the sounds that the children have currently been taught.  Children are only progressed onto a new book “level” once they have been taught the GPC that match the books.  We also send home a book for pleasure.  We value that whilst the children need to learn their phonics, they also need to engage in a love of reading that can be achieved through reading books for pleasure.

We follow the Sounds Write Scheme of learning.   Sounds Write is a validated scheme of learning. Within Sounds Write, we follow the structure that teaches the sounds across 15 “lessons” of learning.  There are 55 “units” in total that each have progressive sounds that the children are exposed to.   Each child is exposed to new sounds on a weekly basis.  The core concept of Sounds Write that makes it different from other schemes is that it teaches children the skills of blending; segmenting and phoneme manipulation rather than teaching sounds in isolation.  Children are encouraged to build and create new words using their knowledge of these three areas, and this scheme helps to progress the children from Early Years to Year 6.  If a lesson were to be observed, it would be noted that the children engage in active learning using post it notes that help to identify single sounds for blending and segmenting.  Children are strongly encouraged to “build” words, read them out loud and then write the word.

Phonics feeds heavily into our writing.  When creating a model text, we ensure that children are only exposed to the sounds they have been taught.  This means that all work can be independent and gives the children the best chance to succeed.  If words have to be used because they are “topical” or key to the text yet they use sounds which have not yet been taught, then an “A” will be written by those words as they will have been supported yet necessary to use.

For further information you can visit this website:

There is also a parent/ carer page too which is very helpful

“I am satisfied with the wonderful work of the teachers, my son is delighted. I am impressed that my child uses English words in such a short time.”

EYU Phonics Meeting

Our Phonics Meeting Presentation for Parents, on 6 February 2019, is now available to download. It provides help for parents to understand how we teach our pupils to read and how to become confident readers, with lots of useful links to phonic games to try at home.

Phonics Meeting Presentation to Parents

Phonics Handout

Where next


19th – 20th March 2024: Ofsted Inspection Dear Parents and Carers, We are pleased to share positive comments from our recent Ofsted inspection and celebrate…

Harriers Banbury Academy is a GOOD school

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