Church Cowley St James Church of England Primary School

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Reading Planet Rocket Phonics: DfE validated SSP ProgrammeAt CCSJ, we follow a fully resourced Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme called Rocket Phonics, which enables children to learn how to read and write. Teachers use a combination of digital and printed resources, along with a fully matched series of decodable reading books. 

The Rocket Phonics programme is designed to be taught across Reception to Year 1. Our mission is to ensure every child keeps up and not catches up. The programme is taught to the whole class and follows a steady pace and progression, so that knowledge and skills are embedded. Pupil Practice Workbooks are used daily so the children can practice and apply their blending and segmenting skills. 

Rocket Phonics Progression OverviewHalf-Termly ExpectationsParent Guide 

To find out how to pronounce the sounds in Rocket Phonics, watch this video here.

Nursery (age 3 - 4)

In our Wilderness Nursery, we follow Letters & Sounds: Phase One. Phase One of Letters and Sounds concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for learning Rocket Phonics in Reception. Children are taught key ‘pre-phonics’ skills through reading high-quality rhyming books and playing a variety of fun listening games. In today’s noisy world, children can find it very challenging to pick up on specific individual sounds, so in our Nursery, we give the children plenty of opportunities to identify a variety of loud and soft sounds, from animal noises to musical instruments. Children play games such as I spy or Simon Says to identify the individual sounds in words. 

Reception (age 4 - 5) & Year 1 (age 5 - 6)

In Reception, children are taught two sounds per week. For each new sound, children spend one day focused on blending to read and one day segmenting to spell. Each Friday, children practice Common Exception Words - such as the, come, they, said. Throughout the week, children are given a chance to read decodable books (at home and in lessons) that practice the taught graphemes and they undertake a daily practice of blending and segmenting words and sentences using their focus sound in their Pupil Practice Workbook. 

The children are given a Rocket Phonics 'decodable' book to take home to practice with their parent/carer; these books are carefully matched to each child's individual assessment. 

Common Exception Words Alphabetic Code Chart 

Sound Mat 1 (R)Sound Mat 2 (R)Sound Mat 3 (Y1)Sound Mat 4 (Y1) 

Year 2 (age 6 - 7) & Year 3 (age 7 - 8)

Year 2 follows the Rocket Phonics: Next Steps programme. It aims to consolidate their knowledge of sounds by revisiting all the alphabetic code from Reception and Year 1. The alphabetic code is revised by grouping it by individual phoneme and looking at the different ways of spelling that sound (an example would be the sound /ai/, which can be spelt in a variety of different ways). In Year 2, we introduce cursive handwriting and explicitly cover National Curriculum spelling requirements.  

Rocket Phonics: Next Steps 

In 2023-24, we are following the Year 2 programme across Year 3 to help consolidate children's phonics knowledge.