Phonics & Reading

In partnership with our parents, we believe that reading is the key that unlocks many doors to learning in other areas of the curriculum. We acknowledge that children acquire these skills at different rates and in different ways. At the basis of all we do are the following beliefs.  Children should;

  • Experience an environment which is literacy rich
  • Be encouraged to love books
  • Be taught how to decode words for themselves when they are able to do so
  • Share the love of reading with family, friends and adults at school
  • Explore our literary world in a variety of ways including multimedia

We provide

  • A well-ordered and stocked book supply in each classroom
  • A well-stocked and attractive library in school
  • A well- structured reading scheme with a wide range of additional levelled books across a number of genres.

At St. Breock Primary School, we aim to develop the full potential of all our pupils as confident, literate, enthusiastic readers and writers. If children are to develop as competent readers and writers, it is vitally important that they have a secure understanding of the letter sounds and spelling system of the English language. Phonic skills need to be developed in a systematic way.  By doing this, we hope that we will give children a love of reading that will last a lifetime.

At our school we follow a carefully tailored programme of synthetic phonics from Foundation Stage, through KS1 and into KS2 if appropriate. Our system focuses on securing the skills essential for children to decode (read) and encode (spell) words accurately and on language comprehension at every level. You will find our whole school progression map for reading below.

Phonics is taught in a structured programme of daily lessons across FS2/KS1 using Read,Write,Inc. as our core planning scheme. Children learn the 44 phonemes (speech sounds) and their associated graphemes (how these are written) through a system of synthetic phonics.

Below is a link to the RWI website below where you can watch a video of the sounds and how to say them.


In addition, pupils learn to read and spell appropriate high-frequency and exception words for their age group. During their daily phonics session children will follow a structured session which included verbal, written and reading activities using the Read, Write, Inc resources. In addition to this we also send home a reading book with your child. This is for you to enjoy reading together and to practise skills such as sight recognition of words and recognising repetition of words. There is a video below which will support you with this.We may at times send home some phonics games for you to play with you child which will support their learning. There are some videos below which will help you with this also. 

From Year 2, pupils across the school learn spelling patterns and rules through No Nonsense spelling, a scheme which build in taught spelling strategies to help children embed their knowledge of spelling.

Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practise together and apply what they have learned.  Children are expected to read regularly at home as well as in school, and progress through coloured book bands as directed by their teacher, ranging from pink (FS2) up to dark red (approximately Y4), before advancing into our well-stocked library.

Progression and delivery

Using reliable assessments of children’s developing knowledge and skills, practitioners and teachers will need to judge the rate at which children are able to progress through the programme and adapt the pace accordingly. Children are grouped according to the stage they are currently working at.

Tracking and assessment

All pupils are continually assessed as they progress. During daily sessions of phonics there are opportunities for practitioners to regularly assess children’s understanding. Outside the discrete daily phonics sessions there are opportunities to observe the application of phonic skills, e.g. during guided/ shared reading. Additionally, teachers will make at least termly formal assessments of both progress made and levels of attainment for each child in their class.

Regular monitoring of assessment outcomes allows teachers and practitioners to ensure that all children are making expected progress, including children in the most vulnerable groups. This information is also used to identify children who are not making expected progress and therefore early intervention can be put in place.

Year 1 Screening Check

In the summer term, every Year 1 child will take the national Phonics Screening Check; this is a phonics-based check where children will be expected to read 40 simple, decodable words including nonsense words. This is a progress check to identify those children not at the expected level in their reading. The results will be reported to parents.  Children will be rechecked in Year 2 if they do not reach the expected level.


Through careful monitoring and tracking,teachers are able to identify children who are not making the expected progress and therefore need intervention to catch up. Depending on the needs of individuals, this may include additional individual or small group tuition before the lesson or after the main lesson; one to one work with a trained practitioner or extra support for a child or small group of children within a lesson. It is important that children who are struggling to learn to read not only need to catch up with their peers, but also to continue to make progress.

Phonics in KS2

If children in Key Stage 2 experience difficulty in reading and/or writing because they have missed or misunderstood a crucial phase of systematic phonics teaching, additional resources and/or intervention will be tailored to meet their needs as a priority.

Special Educational Needs

Our aim at St. Breock Primary School is that every child’s needs are catered for and every child is given the chance to succeed and become a competent reader. If children are not attaining as expected due to other difficulties, then it is our duty to put extra intervention in place to help close the gap and ensure progress is being made.

1. A video to support reading at home with your child.
2. Some videos to support playing phonics games with your child.