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Phonics & Reading



The school follows the government published programme “Letters and Sounds” which supports us in providing a multi-sensory approach to learning phonics. As soon as the children begin in Nursery, they are exposed to a variety of activities which support their early listening skills.  Once the children are secure with this stage they then move on to daily phonics sessions. Children are grouped across Reception and Key Stage 1 according to the phase they are working at.

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. 


Our 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.

The school operates a scheme where each book is assessed for its level of difficulty and colour banded accordingly. At Mrs Bland’s we use the Oxford Reading Tree Reading Scheme. Each colour band within the scheme contains a wide range of reading materials containing fiction, non-fiction and poetry which gives the children added breadth to their reading. These books will vary in a number of ways, including layout, size, vocabulary and length.

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.