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Phonics and Reading

Phonics & Reading

At Brookland Infant and Nursery School our aim is for the children to read fluently and develop a love for reading.


We teach early reading through the validated systematic, synthetic phonics programme 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised' which we purchased in 2021.


Right from the start of Reception, children will have a daily phonics lesson which follows the progression for Little Wandle Letters and Sounds and this continues in Year 1 to ensure children become fluent readers. 


In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers. Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in as soon as all the children are in full time, which is usually week 2 of the Autumn term.


We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress (see below). Four new phonemes and their corresponding graphemes are taught (GPCs) each week and they are then used in the final lesson of the week to review the week’s learning. Children will also learn tricky words during these sessions.


In the Autumn and Spring term, Reception learn phase 2 and phase 3 GPCs and then will spend the final term learning phase 4. Year 1 begin the Autumn term with 3 weeks of revision of phases 2, 3 and 4 before learning phase 5, which will be completed by the end of the year. Year 2 children will begin the year by revisiting phase 5 and other previously taught phases to ensure all children are completely confident with applying these GPCs in both their reading and also their writing. (please see the overview here for what this progression looks like).


Half termly assessments take place through Reception and Year 1 to help inform future teaching and help identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and need additional practice. Daily assessment of learning also takes place within the classroom so staff can quickly identify any children who are in danger of falling behind and provide the appropriate daily ‘Keep Up’ intervention.

How we teach blending

How we teach tricky words

Quick guide to Alien words

Phase 2 sounds taught in Reception

Phase 2 sounds taught in Reception

Phase 3 sounds taught in Reception

Year 1 Phonics Screening

The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check is a statutory assessment of your child’s phonics knowledge which takes place in the Summer Term of Year 1.

Your child will sit with a familiar adult and be asked to read 40 words aloud. Your child may have read some of the words before, while others will be completely new. The check will only take a few minutes to complete and there is no time limit. We use this a way to identify gaps and ensure suitable provision is provided to support all children.


We all play an important role in helping children to develop into confident readers. We believe that both school and home, working together in partnership, will encourage and create a love of reading. Reading materials can be books borrowed from the school, obtained from the local library or from your child’s own collection.


Early Reading

Children start learning to read from a very early age; recognising signs, pictures and print in the environment all around them.

Being read to is very important as is using songs and rhyme. Children will also develop an interest in holding books independently and looking through them. Children will begin to know how books work and that people make them. They will start predicting the contents from the cover, title and illustrations.

Illustrations play an important part in early reading. They give clues to the reader about the storyline and the text, they provide information about the setting, share an insight into the characters and support retelling in the correct order.

The use of repetitive text in early reading is vital as this will develop confidence in the reader; enabling them to join in with the storyteller.


Reading in School

We believe reading is a key aspect of developing a child’s learning and supports every child to access the wider curriculum.

Reading at School takes place in a number of different ways:

  • English lessons
  • All subject lessons
  • Phonics
  • Guided Reading
  • Shared Reading
  • Individual Reading
  • Incidental reading
  • Reading Buddies (sharing books with a child from a different year group)
  • Story time
  • Mystery Reader

Guided Reading or ERIC (Everybody Reading in Class) sessions take place every day. Over the course of the week each child will read with their class teacher. Children read, answer comprehension questions and discuss the text. In school, children may read a more challenging text than the one they bring home. This is called ‘reading at instructional level’ as they are being supported by the teacher. The children who are not reading with the teacher take part in other reading activities. These vary in each year group and may include: being read to, independent reading, book reviews, library sessions or comprehension activities.

Teachers record their observations relating to attainment, progress and future targets.

We have a diverse range of books to support your child’s reading within the school, and we hope this will enable your child to experience a range of authors and styles.


School Library

All children can borrow books from an extensive range in our school library. All classes have an allocated time during the school week and have the opportunity to choose a book of their choice. The library book may be a favourite, familiar book that can be read independently or a more challenging book to share, read and talk about. The library book is returned weekly in the book bag.


Home Reading

It is expected that children spend 10 minutes each night reading with a member of their family/carers. The reading scheme in Reception and KS1 used for home independent reading is aligned with national book banding using a range of texts both fiction and non-fiction. Books for home reading are selected depending on the age and ability of the children. Children are given a book each week from the school’s home reading scheme and the teacher uses their assessment of the children to inform their guidance of the child when choosing their reading book.

When we provide your child with a reading book, we want them to feel confident that they will be able to read it. We make sure that your child is able to complete 95% of the book independently in order for them to develop their reading voice and comprehension skills.

Parents are also encouraged to write in the Reading Records in order to log reading frequency and progress. The class teacher will also comment in these and suggestions as to how the family can support the child with the book are written in your child’s reading diary.


In addition to your child bringing books home from school, we encourage reading all types of print including:

• Comics

• Magazines

• Travel brochures

• Instructions

• Recipes

• Television guide

• Sports Programmes/reports

• Newspapers

• Poems

• Tapes/CD/Recorded stories

• Shopping lists

• Menus


This helps children to understand the importance of reading while simultaneously nurturing a love of reading through a range of reading experiences.