Children learn phonics right from the start of their time with us so that there is no delay in building up the skills and knowledge they will require for reading and writing. We use a number of different methods, combining what we feel is the very best from various schemes and ideas, but we particularly follow 'Letters and Sounds'. We make the learning fun by adding actions and develop phonics work into sentence building activities too. Phonics is taught as a whole-class activity, in small groups and, in particular cases, individually. This way we feel we are able to keep a very careful eye on the children's developing knowledge and intervene as soon as there is a problem.
Phonics teaching still takes place, in line with the National Curriculum, throughout the school, but with the older children it develops into an improved understanding of etymology (the study of how words have evolved), word groupings and general phonic rules.