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Phonics & Reading



image of a biplaneThe school follows A Flying Start with Letters & Sounds which is validated by the Department of Education and is based on the Letters & Sounds programme. A Flying Start with Letters & Sounds is a multi-sensory, systematic, synthetic phonics programme and enables the children to:

  • Develop good language skills and a wide vocabulary
  • Foster a love of reading
  • Acquire the skills to read independently as indicated by the phonic check
  • Secure the physical skills to write in order to successfully record the graphemes they have learnt

A Flying Start with Letters & Sounds recognises the importance of phase 1 and its role in working alongside the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This begins in Nursery and continues into Reception. The programme enables children to start learning letter sounds early in Reception, and provides a structured route for children to meet the expected standard in the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check.

Early reading is taught using synthetic phonics as the main approach to reading. Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds all through the word for reading, and how to segment the sounds in order to write words. They are taught to use their phonic skills and knowledge as their first approach to reading, but are also taught high frequency words which do not completely follow the phonic rules.

Children in Year 1 are expected to complete the Phonic Screening Check in June. The check involves reading a combination of forty pseudo and real words. The purpose of the check is to identify children who are able to segment and blend words at the expected level. Any children who do not reach the required standard will retake the check in Year 2 having had a targeted input throughout the year. 


image of noticeboard with author picturesOur aim is to encourage and develop a lifelong love of books and reading in our young learners. Reading is an enjoyable and enriching activity which we want our children to embrace. We wish to work in partnership with parents to ensure all of our children have the best possible start to reading.

A child’s journey to become a reader starts with them listening and sharing books. This is an invaluable way of showing that books are there to be enjoyed, as well as developing the children’s vocabulary. Through sharing books parents are modelling the reading process and showing children enjoyment and learning that can be found from reading.

As a school, we have a wide range of decodable books included within our reading scheme. These books fully align with the phonics programme, enabling the children to apply what they have been taught with increased confidence and success. Once the children have completed the Phonics programme, we have a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books on offer to further develop the children’s fluency in reading.

From Reception, pupils have a weekly school library visit and continue to take home books for sharing with their parents alongside their own reading book.

image of school library areaimage of children reading in library area

Reading for Pleasure

A solid foundation in reading is crucial to a child’s success as they progress through their educational journey. Reading is a skill we continue to develop throughout our lives, but starting this process as early as possible has significant benefits for our continued success as readers.

The teaching of reading and reading comprehension within the classroom is only part of a child's learning, and the value that is given to reading at home is equally important. Reading widely at both home and school helps to develop a child’s vocabulary, which in turn will make them become more confident, fluent readers.

At Mrs Bland's we are passionate about reading. We love listening to stories which take us to faraway and magical places, we love to talk about different types of books with our teachers and our friends and we love reading books at home and at school!

All of the adults in school are always looking out for us to shine in any reading activity we do, or take part in, so they can give out reading stars to reward our hard work. Two of these stars then get chosen each week to visit the Reading Vending Machine, which has within it new and exciting books which we are lucky enough to take home and keep!

image of book vending machineimage of pupil holding bookimage of pupil using book vending machineimage of young boy using book vending machine

We also have our special reading caravan which is a lovely calm and cosy place for the children to enjoy reading a book of their choice. It is a quiet space where the children can read on their own or share a book with a friend.

image of reading caravan in school groundsreading caravan interior with pupils reading

Author of the Term

Book corner Notice boardAuthor of the Term notice board

Each half-term, a different author is celebrated in each of the year groups across school. Books from the chosen author are read for the children to enjoy during the end of day story time. To further enhance this, we share the authors with parents and encourage the children to read a book at home from the author that is being focussed upon for that half-term.

The authors we will be celebrating in each year group are…

  Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2


Anna Hibiscus' Song

B is for Baby

Baby Goes to Market

Double Trouble for Anna Hisbiscus

Splash, Anna Hibiscus!

Helen Nicoll

Meg and Mog Series

Mike Inkpen

The Blue Balloon

Wibbly Pig's Silly Big Bear

Hide Me Kipper

In Wibbly’s Garden

Kipper’s A to Z

Kipper’s Birthday


Jez Alborough




Duck in the Truck

Super Duck

Some Dogs Do

My Friend Bear

Michael Rosen


Wiggly Wiggly Playtime Rhymes

Little Rabbit Foo Foo

Tiny Little Fly

Bear Flies High


Nick Butterworth

Percy the Park Keeper Books


Jill Murphy

Peace at Last

The Large Family Books

Joseph Coelho
Luna Loves Library Day

Luna Loves Art

The Hairdo that Got Away

If All the World Were…

No Longer Alone

Thank You

Allan Ahlberg

Each Peach Pear Plum

The Jolly Postman


Dinosaurs Dreams


Cops and Robbers

Beatrix Potter

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

The Tale of Benjamin Bunny

The Tale of Tom Kitten

The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck

Michael Rosen

Mad in the Back


Bob the Bursting Bear


Evan my Ears are smiling

Michael Rosen's Books of Nonsense

This is Our House

Julia Donaldson

Zog and the Flying Doctors


The Highway Rat

The Smeds and the Smoos

The Paper Dolls

The Cook and the King

Year 1

Judith Kerr

Katinka's Tail

The Tales of Mog the Forgetful Cat

The Curse of the School Rabbit

The Crocodile Under the Bed

Oliver Jeffers

The Day the Crayons Quit

The Day the Crayons Came Home

Up and Down

How to Catch a Star

Lost and Found

The Way Back Home


Anna Hisbiscus chapter books

Dr Seuss

The Cat in the Hat

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

Green Eggs and Ham

Hop on Pop

Fox in Socks

Michael Rosen

Hampstead the Hamster

Clever Cakes

Chocolate Cake

Barking for Bagels

Choosing Crumble

Mustard, Custard, Grumble Belly and Gravy

Michael Bond

A Bear Called Paddington

Paddington Goes for Gold

Paddington's Post

Paddington's London Treasury

Paddington in the Garden

Year 2

Jamila Gavin

Grandpa Chatterji

Grandpa Chatterji's Third Eye

Grandpa’s Indian Summer

Dick King-Smith

The Hodgeheg

The Queen’s Nose

The Sheep-Pig

All Because of Jackson

Roald Dahl

The Twits

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me

Danny the Champion of the World

The Magic Finger

Enid Blyton:

The Magic Faraway Tree

The Enchanted Woods

The Adventures of the Wishing Chair

Michael Rosen

Fluff the Farting Fish

Don’t Forget Tiggs!

Jelly Boots, Smelly Boots

Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed

Michael Rosen's Book of Very Silly Poems

David Walliams

Little Monsters



The World’s Worst Parents

Recommended Reads

At Mrs Bland’s Infant and Nursery School we want to encourage all of our children to foster a love of reading. Below you will find links to various sites that will provide you with ideas of books to read:

Recommended Reads for Reception

Recommended Reads for Year 1

Recommended Reads for Year 2

Suggested reading list for ks1 pupils - EYFS - age 4 to 5 (at

Recommended Reads for Year 1

Suggested reading list for ks1 pupils -Year 1 - age 5 to 6 (at

Recommended Reads for Year 2

Suggested reading list for ks1 pupils - Year 2 - age 6 to 7 (at

Useful Links 

We make a lot of use of online reading and phonics activities in school, why not try some of them out and let us know what you think…? 

Reading Rockets  
Contains lots of useful information and tips to help you read with your child.

Crickweb Literacy 
Educational games and activities. Help your child with, spelling, reading, alphabetical order and grammar with these English learning games. 

Oxford Owl Reading 
Free online books with games and activities that can be used at home. 

Phonics Play 
Visit this website to access phonic game and activities to support reading and spelling skills. 

Book Trust 
Discover a world of stories and get inside information on how books are created. Lots of activity ideas to share with the family. 

Watch the videos to explore different letters and sounds in a fun way. 

ICT games
Has a great selection of games that link well with games in Letters and Sounds.