Reading and Phonics

Our Approach to Reading and Phonics

Reading Schemes

Children throughout the school read a variety of books.  In Foundation Stage and Key Stage One our core reading scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree.  These books follow the adventures of Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy and their family and friends.   We use book banding, with books organised by colour group, giving children confidence that they are reading books at the right level.  Through assessments made during individual reading and guided reading activities the teacher will decide when pupils are ready to progress to the next colour band.

The best way to support your child is to hear them read each day.  As the children progress encourage them to read other books from home as the best readers as those who read a variety of books.   Our Reading at Home leaflet provides lots of activities to make reading an even more enjoyable and active experience for all. Children should be encouraged to read aloud and read on their own, but being read to is really important, too, so don’t overlook the bedtime story!

 Learning through systematic synthetic phonics

 Children in Reception and Key Stage 1 follow the synthetic phonics approach, using Jolly Phonics supplemented by the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme. It’s an approach to teaching phonics 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. Children in Reception and Year 1 also use ‘Jolly Phonics’ actions to go with the sounds.

 Our daily phonics sessions in Reception 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 which cannot be sounded out. These include the tricky words such as  ‘to’, ‘was’, ‘said’ and ‘the’ – you can’t really break the sounds down for such words so it’s better to just ‘recognise’ them.

 Phase one will have begun in nursery. This phase paves the way for the systematic learning of phonics. During this phase especially, activities help children to listen attentively to sounds around them, such as the sounds of their toys and to sounds in spoken language. 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.

Ways you can support your children at home

Play ‘What do we have in here?’ Put some toys or objects in a bag and pull one out at a time. Emphasise the first sound of the name of the toy or object by repeating it, for example, ‘c c c c – car’, ‘b b b b –      box’, ‘ch ch ch ch – chip’.  You can find some guidance on the pronunciation of the sounds and lots of other guidance at  .

 Say: ‘A tall tin of tomatoes!’ ‘Tommy, the ticklish teddy!’,  ‘a lovely little lemon!’ This is called alliteration. Use names, for example,      ‘Gurpreet gets the giggles’, ‘Milo makes music’, ‘Naheema’s nose’.

 Teach them ‘Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers’ and other tongue twisters.


Last modified: Tuesday, 17 September 2013, 11:53 AM