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Reading and Phonics



The foundation of reading is:
- understanding
- communication
- listening and attention
- engagement and enjoyment

The core foundations are integrated into all curriculum delivery.

Phonics in the Secondary Phase:


All pupils at the Bridge access the accredited Twinkl Phonics programme which provides a Systematic Synthetic Phonics approach.

Twinkl Phonics provides an inclusive programme beginning with listening and attention and progressing through to all levels of decoding and encoding which subsequently supports reading fluency and accuracy.

Every class in school has a timetabled direct phonics session from the Twinkl scheme at least 3 times per week. The length of these sessions is dependent on the needs of the pupils in class.

Secondary teachers adapt the provided Twinkl Phonics resources, ensuring that the lessons planned and supporting resources are age appropriate for pupils working in KS3 and 4. Teachers ensure the fidelity of the Twinkl Phonics programme by following the systematic progression outlined in the scheme whilst adapting the topics/themes of the lessons for their pupils.

The Twinkl Phonics Programme is made up of levels 1 to 6:

Level 1 – All pupils will experience a wealth of listening activities including songs, stories, body percussion and rhymes through the seven aspects:

The 7 aspects of learning in Level 1:

Aspect 1 – Environmental Sounds

Aspect 2 – Instrumental Sounds

Aspect 3 – Body Percussion

Aspect 4 – Rhythms and Rhymes

Aspects 5 – Alliteration

Aspect 6 – Voice Sounds

Aspect 7 – Oral blending and segmenting


Level 2 Individual pupils working at this level are working at pre-key stage standards 1 and above. 


Further levels are used with individual pupils if appropriate (Level 2 to 6), please discuss this with your child’s class teacher if you wish to find out more about the level they are working in.


Other resources/ strategies that may be used to support the teaching of phonics:


Emphasis is always on the MAKATON alphabet signs to ensure consistency for pupils (As advised by English Teaching & Learning Specialist, for Telford).


All adults model using ‘pure sounds’ when supporting pupils in their knowledge and understanding of grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs).

ICT resources, including iPad Apps, are used when it is complimentary to other methods and appropriate to the pupil.

All phonics resources are adapted to meet the needs of the pupils at the Bridge School to support pupil’s individual learning.



Decodable Reading Books:

In the Secondary phase pupils access decodable books that have been matched exactly to the order in which the GPCs are introduced in line with Twinkl Phonics Programme Levels 1-6. Books are carefully selected by class teachers so that they are in line with the individual pupil’s current knowledge and understanding of specific GPCs.

The pupils access the following reading schemes to support their progression in the Twinkl Phonics levels:

  • Collins Big Cat – Whole School Reading Scheme
  • Rhino Readers – Twinkl Phonics e-books
  • Dockside Reading

These schemes have been selected as they are fully decodable, aligned to the Twinkl Phonics programme and provide the pupils with a wide range of reading experiences that will foster a love of reading.

Please discuss your child’s reading books with their class teacher if you wish to find out more about strategies to engage them in sharing these texts at home.



Use of objects, photographs, and symbols to support reading:

For pupils with severe and profound learning difficulties, objects, photographs and symbols can support the understanding of language/communication by providing visual information.

Throughout the pupil’s time at the Bridge they will be exposed to consistent objects and photographs of reference and symb
ols. These visual aids can then be used to a) support the development of skills and knowledge progression for reading and b) for some pupils, provide a degree of independence and enjoyment before they learn decoding or if they are unable to learn decoding. For example, in Key stage 4 pupils will engage with symbols to support them in the community, e.g. toilet, first aid, danger, hospital, bus stop, wheelchair access, etc



Love of reading:

Across all Key Stages pupils have multiple exposures to story time sessions in relation to their whole class shared text. Many opportunities are created for the children to become familiar with these stories, encouraging engagement and exposure to vocabulary and the language of stories.

Stories are shared in many ways, such as, sensory stories, story massage, use of ICT to deliver, through drama games and role play etc.

All texts have been carefully selected to ensure that we foster a love for reading by including a wide range of stories, non-fiction texts, and poems. We have also included a range of stories set in the UK and around the world, both traditional and modern, with engaging illustrations from different backgrounds and cultures. Additionally, the texts have been chosen to create opportunities that incorporate our schools identified key areas of learning for our pupils, these are:

  • engagement and enjoyment
  • communication and understanding
  • personal and social development including increasing awareness of self, their own emotions, and relationships with others.
  • independence including life-skills