Reading and Phonics

Approach to the Teaching and Learning of Reading

Reading Books

We encourage an interest in books through listening to a variety of literature, re-telling stories, acting them out, looking at non-fiction books for information etc. 

When staff at school judge that your child is ready, they will also bring home a reading book.  Early reading books are usually made up of decodable words, using sounds that the children have learnt in their phonics lessons. You can help by encouraging them to sound out new words eg m-u-d mud, using the sounds of the letters rather than their names. 

Children will also have a school reading record card and it is always helpful to receive your comments about how your child got on, whether they enjoyed the book etc.  We recommend a quiet time and place to do this, where possible, with just an adult and the child, so that they see it as a special time for them, avoiding distractions.  Each child develops at a different rate, and some children will be ready for a reading book before others, so please do not be concerned if you notice others reading before your child.  The important thing is that every child is interested in and enjoys books of any kind.

Reading Bags

All children are provided with a blue Grade-Ruan School Reading bag.  We ask that these are brought to school every day.  Please don’t put food or drink into these bags in case of spillage.  Once your child has read their book, please help them to put these books straight back into their reading bag to keep them safe so that they are ready to return to school.  In the past, we have had lots of school books mislaid by children adding them to their own collections at home or “hiding” them in their bedroom!


We follow a phonics programme called “Letters and Sounds”.  The children learn the sounds of letters, rather than their names, to begin with and we use the Jolly Phonics scheme to help them learn them.

The first set of letters are s, a, t, and p.  When the children are familiar with these, they are able to blend them to make simple words such as sat, tap etc.

Words which are not regular are known in class as “tricky words” or “words with tricky parts” and these need to be learnt off by heart, through the “look and say” method.  Your child may have some flashcards to practise at home and it is always fun to make up simple games such as “Hunt the word” or “Pairs” to help them to learn these words.