Reading and phonics

Click here for details of our phonics programme.

Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn to do. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to become a confident and competent reader. We want all the children at the academy to love reading. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.

We start by teaching phonics in the early years and this continues throughout key stage one. Children learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. Once children can blend sounds together to read words, they read books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. We combine discrete teaching of phonics with guided reading (small groups), shared reading (whole class) and class story time. Teachers regularly read to the children, too, so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing.

Every child is different and children will learn to read at different speeds. By the end of Year 2, most children will be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for his or her age. Some older children will continue to access phonics work if they need further consolidation and development of reading skills. In the summer term, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the Year 1 children. We will let you know how well your child has done.

In key stage two the focus moves from ‘learning to read’ and we emphasise the importance of ‘reading to learn’. Teachers will focus on helping children to understand what they are reading, although this work begins very early on. In key stage two teachers will develop children’s reading skills through guided, shared and independent reading in all lessons.

To further encourage reading for enjoyment all classes have story-time everyday – at this time teachers will read a book to their class. Every child in school gets to visit the school library at least once a week.