Otley Ship Otley Ship

federated with Witnesham Primary School

The website for Witnesham Primary can be found here.  


Reading and Spelling

Phonic knowledge is an important part of the development of early reading skills and this is taught using the programmes ‘Letters and Sounds’ and ‘Jolly Phonics’.  A variety of multisensory approaches are used with children using activities including IT programmes and websites, play dough, flash cards, stories, rhymes and songs.


Children are taught letter phonemes (sounds) and the corresponding graphemes (letters or combinations of letters). Children are involved in listening to sounds, identifying them, reading and writing them. They blend words for reading and segment them to spell.


They begin with initial and dominant sounds in two and three letter words, moving onto the final sound, then the middle sound. Following on from this, children are taught to identify combinations of letters exploring the forty-four phonemes (sounds) in the English language.


Along side a phonetic approach; children are introduced to high frequency words in order to build up a bank of words that they recognise on sight. This helps them to make good progress and gain fluency when reading, build confidence and self esteem.


When reading, children are asked questions to ensure understanding and are encouraged to talk about the pictures in books.  Children are taught to use a range of reading strategies including: sounding out unknown words, thinking about the meaning or grammar within the sentence, looking at the pictures, reading on and returning to a word, re-reading and self correcting.


Details of our reading schemes:


We use a variety of different phonics based reading schemes.

Our main schemes are:

Dandelion Launchers

Oxford Read Write Inc

Songbird Phonics

Oxford Reading Tree




These are also supplemented with:

Rigby Star

Ginn Lighthouse



As children progress and no longer need a reading scheme we use:


Read Alone


For older children who really still need a scheme or for older more reluctant readers we use Wolf Hill books. From this point on, children are encouraged to choose their own books, (though sometimes steered) according to their individual preferences of genre, topic and interests.


Blending and Segmenting Independent Reading Enunciation Video

These documents and videos will help you understand terminology regarding reading and phonics.