Phonics & Reading

Phonics and 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 the Oxford Reading Tree as our main reading scheme in Key stage 1.  This provides a variety of fiction and non–fiction books to develop children’s reading range and ability to decode ‘high-frequency’ words.       

We complement this system however, by using other scheme books which focus on supporting pupils’ phonics development.

Children learn to read at different rates. Once pupils finish the Oxford ‘reading scheme’ in Key Stage 1, we encourage them to become ‘free readers’ who can choose their own books from the ‘Challenge Box’ – a selection of texts designed to deepen and broaden reading ability for our most confident and able readers.


Ways you can support your children at home

Phonics Games