Reading and Phonics

Reading  "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, The more places you will go - Dr. Seuss"

We aim to help the children become readers for life by introducing them to the power and pleasure of literature. Children are motivated to read when their classroom environment provides access to a wide range of books, both fiction and non-fiction. The emphasis will always be reading for understanding and the children will be taught to use the full range of clueing strategies ie phonic, semantic, syntactic, graphic and prediction.

At all levels, children will be interacting with the text, during daily story time, whole class shared reading and group reading. We use a range of reading books, including Oxford Reading Tree, Phonics Bug, Story Worlds, Project X, real books and other schemes. These are organised into Book Bands, ranging from Band 1 (Pink), to Band 12 (Grey).

Starting in Year R and continuing through Years 1 and 2, the children take 3 books home a week. Two of the books taken home will be from the appropriate Book Band. All classes also have a collection of books that are not banded, to encourage free choice reading during the school day. One of these will be available to take home each week as well.

Our classroom libraries are well stocked with a range of fiction and non-fiction books, which the children have constant access to and will be used for research and class work.

Children will be heard to read as often as possible by an adult in the class. We will encourage parent readers to support this and will give our parents some training to ensure all support is high quality.

We use Collins Big Cat and Oxford Reading Tree schemes.


Phonics is all about sounds. There are 44 sounds in the English language, which are put together to form words. Some are represented by one letter, like ‘t’, and some by two or more, like ‘ck’ in duck and ‘air’ in chair. Children are taught the sounds first, then how to match them to letters, and finally how to use the letter sounds for reading and spelling.

Children are encouraged to segment the individual sounds in words, then blend them to read words, based on the idea that children should sound out unknown words and not rely on their context.

We cover the objectives from the 2014 National Curriculum, using the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme for whole class teaching. Children who find phonics more challenging will have small group phonics teaching using a range of resources. All children sit a Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1 (in special circumstances, some children may be exempt). This is a nationally produced check with an ‘expected’ threshold. Children who do not reach the threshold in Year 1 receive extra support in Year 2 and will be given the opportunity to resit the screening check at the end of Year 2.

Further guidance following our parent workshop can be found here.

Come along to one of our workshops to find out more. Parents who attended had the following to say:

“…it was fantastic, feel very inspired and happy to go back and help F learn…”

“….good insight into phonics, which will help me encourage my girls at home and I like the ideas to keep it fun!”

“…very helpful, worksheets are very good to be able to take home…”

Or you could watch Mr Thorn does Phonics below. A few videos for you to watch and which will help you support your child to learn their phonics.