Phonics and Reading


Holly ParkPhonics is taught every day at Holly Park from Nursery to Year 2.  It is also taught in KS2 for children who need additional support with reading and writing.  We follow the guidelines set out in Letters and Sounds and complement this with the Jolly Phonics Scheme. Children in Year 2 then move onto Support for Spelling.

NurseryChildren begin in Nursery with pre- phonics activities.  These come from Letters and Sounds Phase 1 and help to develop their auditory discrimination.  They discriminate between different sounds in the environment, in nature and in music.  Once they are able to hear sounds in words, they begin phonics activities from Phase 2.

ReceptionChildren in Reception work through Phase 2 and 3 from Letters and Sounds using the Jolly Phonics songs and actions to support their learning.  Through daily Carpet Times, they learn all the sounds that letters make as well as the sounds that combinations of letters make when put together, such as th, ee, ing.  These are called digraphs and trigraphs.  The structure of the lessons is the same every day.  They start with consolidating previous learning, learning new sounds then using what they have learnt by reading and writing words with these sounds.

Holly ParkYear 1Phonics activities in Year 1 follow the same structure as in Reception.  They begin with Phase 4 Letters and Sounds which consolidates much of Phase 3 and puts the learning into context; children use what they have learnt to read whole texts and write sentences.  Phase 5 then works through all the remaining digraphs and trigraphs in the English language.  Children are taught to decode words including pseudo words which may have unusual combinations of sounds together.  In the Summer Term, they sit the Year 1 Phonics Check.

Year 2Phonics lessons in Year 2 focus on consolidating previous learning as well as teaching correct spelling rules and patterns.  Lessons follow the Support for Spelling scheme.

This guide shows you how to pronounce phonemes.

Reading in the Early Years and Key Stage 1

Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are taught to read using a variety of strategies:

  • To decode unfamiliar words by using their phonological knowledge
  • To use pictures in the book so that they will understand what the unfamiliar word might say
  • To read onto the next word so that the context will help them to understand what the unfamiliar word might say

In Reception the children will read to their teacher or Nursery Nurse in a one to one situation at least once a week.  In Year 1 and Year 2, some children will continue to read in a one to one situation with the class teacher or teaching assistant if they need additional support.  Once their reading has become fluent, they will participate in a Guided Reading session within a small group led by the class teacher.

Holly ParkAll classes in KS1 have a Carousel Reading session where children rotate around a variety of different reading activities, some led by a teacher or teaching assistant and some where the children will work independently or within a group.  These may include drama, writing book reviews, describing characters, reading circles etc.

All children take home two books per week.  One is a book chosen by the child and may be changed as regularly as the child wishes.  The second book is chosen by the class teacher, at the child’s level.  It may be a book that is being read during the Guided Reading session or a reading scheme book.  The main scheme that is used at Holly Park is Oxford Reading Tree but this is complemented by a range of other schemes also.

Here are parents reading to children in Nursery.

Reading & Spelling in Key Stage 2

Children across KS2 are taught spelling using Support for Spelling.

In this way they learn key words that are appropriate for their year group and also learn spelling rules for their year group.

There is a dedicated spelling lesson in which children may do spelling games, research, look, cover, write check etc.

Spellings are sent home and are tested by way of a dictation.

For children who are now independent readers in KS2 they begin the Holly Park Reading Challenge. This progresses through Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. Books increase in length and complexity. After each book the children must complete a reading activity – a book review or another activity. Children receive an award in assembly after every 10 books read.

Holly ParkAll classes in KS2 have a Guided Reading Session each day. Alongside this at the same time there is a Carousel Reading session where children rotate around a variety of different reading activities, where the children will work independently or within a group.  These may include drama, writing book reviews, describing characters, reading circles, non-fiction books, guided reading tasks etc.

The Year 6 Reading Champions interviewed site manager Simon Reid about his reading habits. You can see the results here: Mr Reid reads!

Letter formation

Here are two exercises to help with handwriting. You can print them out and copy them.