Reading, phonics and spelling


Communication skills underpin all literacy skills and so we give children lots of opportunities to develop their listening, understanding and spoken language through sustained conversations between children and adults, one-to-one, in small groups and during their own initiated activities. We develop children’s auditory and phonological awareness through carefully planned activities that are based on the Phase One Letters and Sounds scheme of work.

Children have lots of opportunities to join in with rhymes, songs and repeated refrains in books during story time sessions. They also have opportunities to play games such as `Sound Socks` where they have to tune into different sorts of sounds.

The adults working in Nursery also help to develop children’s auditory and phonological awareness during children’s self-chosen activities. For example helping to sing rhymes such as `Incy Wincy Spider` while supporting children at the `Water Tray`. When appropriate some children will be supported in starting to link phonemes to graphemes, identifying initial sounds in their own and familiar names, and linking them to letters. A love of reading is fostered through core books that are used to develop cross curricular topics.  For example,  the popular story about a bear going into space ,`Whatever Next` could inspire  a  topic about `Space`. Children are also encouraged to choose books from the Book Areas to take home to share with their families.


During Reception children continue to develop their auditory awareness through activities such as `Silly Soup` and they also develop their phonic knowledge, linking phonemes to graphemes, through carefully sequenced daily Phonics teaching using our own `Memorable Teaches` based on the Phase Two, Three and Four Letters and Sounds Progression.

Any children falling behind are quickly identified and receive additional support in `Pre-teach` Phonic Interventions. All children in Reception practise and consolidate their phonic skills through daily shared reading activities using the online Bug Club books and through one to one guided reading. They also practise reading these online books at home with their parents and carers.  Our online reading scheme matches the progression of phonics teaching, enabling children to apply and really consolidate their phonic skills. Children also have lots of opportunities to apply their phonic skills during their own self chosen activities. For example they use phonic skills to help them write food orders in the Reception Café and enjoy dressing as aliens as they read `alien` words to their friends. Learning in Reception is based around high quality storybooks, these texts inspire and underpin cross curricular learning and help to foster a love of books and reading and children are also encouraged to choose books from the   Book Areas to take home to share with their family.

Year One

Children begin Year One by recapping Phase Four Letters and Sounds before quickly moving onto Phase Five. We use a variety of approaches when introducing the alternative graphemes for reading eg memorable teach, the interactive whiteboard and games during daily phonics sessions in Year One. The alternative graphemes for reading are taught in their family groups. These are taught first, followed by the alternative graphemes for spelling later in the year. 

Children learn a range of alternative graphemes and begin to identify and read them in texts. Children’s progress in phonics is monitored on a daily basis by the class teacher and children who need additional support are identified for intervention groups run by the TA such as Toe by Toe. Children have opportunities to apply and consolidate their phonic learning with activities in the continuous provision for example word tub games. Whole Class Guided Reading sessions happen every day using our online Bug Club Reading Scheme. These online texts are closely matched to the phonics covered in day to day teaching. These books also provide children with the opportunity to develop their comprehension skills by answering questions about the text. A love of reading is fostered through the use of quality texts that are linked to cross curricular topics. Children develop a deep understanding of these texts; they are encouraged to talk about them and they use them to inspire their own writing. Year One children continue to enjoy listening to stories every day and they are also encouraged to choose books from the Book Areas to take home to share with their families.

Year Two

During Year Two Phonics teaching   follows the Phase Six Letters and Sounds phonic progression. The children will learn some of the rarer GPCs (Letter to Sound correspondence). They will be taught how to spell the past tense forms of verbs, learn about suffixes and continue to develop their knowledge of the spelling system.

Year Two children will practise and consolidate their reading skills during whole class daily reading sessions using our online Bug Club reading scheme. These online books are carefully selected to match the Year Two phonics progression. Children who need additional support with their reading have the opportunity to read one to one with their teacher. Children also read Bug Club books (that are carefully matched to children’s individual levels) at home with their families. Topic learning is often linked to high quality core books and teachers read these texts to the children during daily story sessions. Children are encouraged to foster a love of books by engaging with these quality texts and also by choosing two books from the Book Areas to take home to share with their families. During their time in Year Two children will read longer and less familiar texts independently and with increasing fluency. They will also learn a range of comprehension strategies and will begin to use inference and deduction to deepen their understanding of texts. Over the course of the year children will explore a range of genres that include; information texts, storybooks and poetry.

Key Stage 2

Individual Reading

Children in KS2 they begin the Holly Park Reading Challenge in Y3. This progresses through Blue, Red, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond levels. Books cover a huge range of real books from classics to modern books.

Many different authors are represented and authors from around the world are represented. The Challenge is always being added to as new books are released. The challenge also includes Non Fiction books at every level.  increase in length and complexity. At Blue and Red level the children read ten books to complete the level. From Bronze to Gold level , after each of the ten books the children must complete a reading activity. Children receive an award in assembly after every 10 books read.

Daily Whole Class Reading

All classes in KS2 have a daily whole class Reading Session. The children have a class reader and read this together. The text is generally quite challenging. The children complete oral comprehension questions based on this book.

Alongside the daily reading, the class may have a class reader connected to their topic. They read this together and some of the curriculum work will be based on this book.

Reading Intervention

Children who need additional reading support may be part of a smaller guided reading group. Some children will do a special reading programme individually called BRSP.


Although some children will need to continue with phonics intervention, most children will develop this into spelling. Children in KS2 have a dedicated spelling lesson every week.

The spelling lessons are based on No Nonsense spelling (which links to the national Curriculum expectations for each year group)  on the National Curriculum spelling words for each year group and also on appropriate topic words for each half term. In this way they learn key words that are appropriate for their year group and also learn spelling rules for their year group. Children are encouraged to develop suitable methods to learn and practice spellings. Spellings are sent home so that parents can support children each half term. Spellings are tested at the end of each half term.

Phonic Interventions Year 3, 4 and 5

Children who are falling behind in their literacy skills are quickly identified by Class Teachers. These children are assessed to uncover where their gaps in learning are. Phonics groups are then organised to teach Phoneme/ grapheme correspondence.

These children learn clear strategies and are encouraged to use them consistently to help them develop and use phonic skills confidently. For example they practise looking for digraphs and trigraphs in words before sounding out and blending to read words. These children have regular and consistent support as these phonic intervention groups happen four times a week at the start of the day during Registration.