Reading and Phonics

28 Aug 2019


At Grewelthorpe C of E Primary School we encourage a love of reading. We provide our children with opportunities to enjoy and share books with others. Each classroom has an inviting reading area with a wide range of reading materials to support all reading abilities. Teachers model reading techniques during shared reading sessions, whilst children have the opportunity to develop reading strategies and to discuss texts in detail during guided reading sessions. Independent reading provides time for assessment and one to one teaching. Children in the Foundation Stage and KS1 classes take home a book from a range of schemes. In Key Stage 2 the school continues its reading programme and also offers a wide range of supplementary reading material. Once children have reached the free reading stage, children can select books to take home, from well resourced, age-appropriate books in the classroom.

We have a wide range of reading schemes in school, these include; Jelly and Bean, Dandelion Launchers, Big Cat Phonics, Rigby Star and the Oxford Reading Tree. These schemes offer a breadth of reading experience for children in a structured format which ties in with the national book band levels and beyond. This also applies to the guided reading books which are used in school. In addition to the school reading scheme, pupils have the opportunity to visit the library which contains a good selection of fiction and non-fiction books to stimulate an enjoyment of reading. 

We support children who find reading challenging, through Toe by Toe, the Active Literacy Toolkit and Better Reading Support Partners. Each child has a home school reading record that teachers and parents can use to share information about a child’s reading. Parents are encouraged to read with their child daily using their school reading books and books from home. Information is given on how to support their child in reading at curriculum workshops and parent evenings. 



At Grewelthorpe C of E Primary School, we have high expectations of all children and the aim of our phonics teaching is to ensure they have a firm foundation on which to build reading skills.

The teaching of phonics is systematic, it follows a carefully structured programme building on previous learning to secure children´s progress. It is taught discretely and daily at a brisk pace. There are opportunities to apply phonic knowledge and skills across the curriculum and in activities such as whole class and guided reading, as well as reading independently. The children´s progress in developing and applying their phonic knowledge is carefully assessed and monitored. 

Phonics sessions are taught daily at Grewelthorpe C of E Primary School from the beginning of Foundation Stage to the end of Year 2. In Key Stage 2, the approach is carried on in spelling sessions and also in intervention programmes for children who need extra support. 

We follow the Letters and Sounds approach as outlined in ´Letters and Sounds´: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics, found in the Primary National Strategy 2007. We also use Jolly Phonics in the Early Years to support letter recognition. In EYFS and KS1 the Phonics Play scheme is used to further support phonics and spelling development.

The Letters and Sounds scheme is grouped into phases and pupils progress from phase 1 to phase 6. These phases ensure that children progress from talking about and exploring sounds, through to understanding what graphemes and phonemes are.

In phase 1 children learn to recognise the initial sound in words, they begin to show an awareness of words that rhyme and begin to explore sounds.

In phases 2, 3 and 4 pupils learn about GPCs (grapheme-phoneme correspondences), consonant digraphs, vowel digraphs and trigraphs. Children develop knowledge of how to blend and segment the phonemes within words, including those with adjacent consonants. 

Within phase 5, pupils progress to learning about split digraphs, alternative pronunciations of the same grapheme, and alternative representations of the same phoneme. 

Phase 6 concentrates on developing spelling rules and enhance reading strategies. The reading and spelling of high frequency words are taught throughout the academic year, as part of phonic development, along with how to spell tricky words which may not fit conventional spelling rules.

Each June, all children in Year 1 undertake a National Phonics Screening Check. This check consists of 40 words (20 real words and 20 nonsense words) which all children will be asked to read. The aim of the phonics check is to check the children’s knowledge of graphemes and corresponding phonemes and to check the children’s decoding skills. 

-CLICK HERE-  to link to the Letters and Sounds document.
Click here to link to Phonics Play.
Click here to link to information about Jolly Phonics.

-CLICK HERE-  to view our Phonics policy.

We also hold information sessions for parents about Phonics. -CLICK HERE-  to see our most recent Parents Phonics help sheet. 

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