VORP - a made-up word and a sign of success for the small village school of Broughton Moor.

Making up and sounding out words is just one way that has helped the small school become one of the top in the country in phonics.

The school received a letter from Education Minister Nick Gibb congratulating head Paul Brotherhood, his staff and pupils for being one of the top three per cent in the country for phonics.

Mr Brotherhood said it is something the school emphasises because being able to read and spell is something that will help them throughout their lives.

“We have phonics, reading and grammar every morning from 9am to 9.30am for every child in the school.”

He said he believes it is this constant repetition that has given the children the grounding and confidence that led to the school’s huge success on the national scene.

He said while the learning was important it was equally important to try and help the children enjoy language.

That is where VORP comes in. The children can sound out real words and made up fun ones just by trying out the sounds.

Mr Brotherhood said there are many ways to teach reading and spelling but phonics is one of the essentials.

The school uses games, too, including ones that can be taken home at night.

“Parents have a huge role to play in our success. We hold phonics evenings when necessary to show the parents the importance of phonics and the games they can play with their children.

“We also have games that the parents can take home and play with their children. The more the children are exposed, the better it is.”

“A lot has been tried but it has always come back to phonics,” he said.

He said he was “incredibly proud” of his staff and the children who have put so much time, effort and enthusiasm into this subject and the progress we see in the pupils.”

Broughton Moor is a small school of only 60 pupils but is punching above its weight in phonics.

In a short Ofsted inspection last year, Broughton Moor was rated as good and Mr Brotherhood praised for his work.