The Whipton Curriculum

Our curriculum

Our core purpose at Whipton Barton is to encourage and promote learning. We are committed to providing the best possible environment and opportunities for all our learners to flourish, regardless of age, gender, ability, culture or social background. We believe that effective, deep learning is underpinned by a commitment to excellent teaching and a rich curriculum.  We believe that Whipton Barton is a learning community where adults and children strive to develop themselves as learners and support one another to be the best they can be.

As maintained schools, we teach from the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework


in our Nursery and Reception classes and the:


We plan our wider curriculum around a structured set of skills. You can see these by clicking on the link “Whipton Skills Progression 2016”


Phonics Teaching

The Whipton Barton Federation follows the Letters and Sounds phonic programme. Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read and write by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children enabling them to become fluent readers and writers.

There are six phases in the letters and Sounds programme. The table below is a summary based on the Letters and Sounds guidance for teachers. The Year groups listed are the suggested the age that children are taught each phase, but some children will progress more rapidly and others may need to revisit aspects of different phases.


Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One


Activities are divided into seven aspects:

  • Environmental sounds
  • Instrumental sounds
  • Body sounds
  • Rhythm and rhyme
  • Voice sounds
  • Oral blending and segmenting

Phase Two

Reception - Up to six weeks

Children are taught 19 letters of the alphabet with one sound for each. They learn to blend sounds together to make words and segment words into their separate sounds. They begin to be able to read simple captions.

Phase Three

Reception - Up to twelve weeks

The remaining letters of the alphabet are taught with one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes that are not covered by single letters are taught. Children continue to read captions and also learn to read sentences and questions. At the end of phase three, children will have learnt one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four

Reception - Four to six weeks

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase but children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants such as jump, clip, sweep.

Phase Five

Throughout Year One

In this phase children learn more graphemes for the phonemes they already know as well as different ways of pronouncing the graphemes that they are familiar with.

Phase Six

Throughout Year Two

Children look at spelling patterns including prefixes, suffixes, doubling and dropping letters.



The Whipton Barton Federation uses a range of reading schemes to support our pupils in learning to read. The most popular include Oxford Reading Tree (ORT), Collins Big Cat and Phonics Bug and Bug Club, but other schemes are also used, including Dandelion readers and Project X.

Most schemes begin in the Foundation Stage and progressively become more difficult. For example, Key Stage 1 books are written with a mixture of high-frequency and decodable words to develop a range of reading strategies, while our Key Stage 2 books cover a wide range of genres and subjects, linking to the curriculum.


For more information about this or any other area of our curriculum, please contact us directly to arrange an appointment.