Phonics & Reading

Children in Reception and Key Stage 1 follow the synthetic phonics approach, based on ‘Letters and Sounds’ in which individual letters or letter sounds are blended to form groups of letters or sounds, and those groups are then blended to form complete words.

Our daily phonics sessions are fun, involving lots of speaking, listening and games.

The emphasis is on children’s active participation. They learn to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and in their independent play.

Letters and Sounds is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. There are no big leaps in learning. Children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words.

They are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’ –words with spellings that are unusual or that children have not yet been taught. These include the words ‘to’, ‘was’, ‘said’ and ‘the’ – you can’t really break the sounds down for such words so it’s better to just ‘recognise’ them.

We teach a wide range of nursery rhymes and songs and read good books to and with the children. This helps to increase the number of words they know– their vocabulary – and helps them talk confidently about books. The children learn to identify rhyme and alliteration.

We use a variety of reading schemes in Foundation and Key Stage One, including Collins, Oxford Reading Tree and Bug Club. These books strongly support pupils’ phonics development as well as providing a variety of fiction and non-fiction to develop children’s reading range and ability to decode ‘high-frequency’ words.  

Children learn to read at different rates. When children are ready, they move from the reading scheme to Accelerated Reader, choosing their own individual reading books from the decimal-coded selection. Children take an online quiz when they finish their book and the data helps teachers to monitor children’s progress, ensuring that comprehension skills continue to develop.

In Year 2 children may be invited to select a book from the class library which is intended for them to read and talk about with an adult at home.


Ways you can support your children at home

Phonics Games