Phonics Reading

Reading for pleasure

Your child will benefit greatly from a love of reading for pleasure. This can come from being read to. Discuss what is happening in the pictures, encourage your child to predict what might happen next before you turn over the page. Follow the words with your finger as you read together.

Once your child has begun to learn the letter sounds they will be able to pick them out in words. They should then move on to working out whole words through blending. Remember ‘tricky’ words will not be able to be sounded out, and will be learned by regular reading practise. As a result it is easier if reading begins with story books that use simple words, and those with a lot of repetition.

Once there is a fluency in reading, the most important skills for a child to develop will be comprehension skills (understanding what has been read). This can be developed by asking questions about a story or sentence they have just read.

We all learn in different ways and at different times, as children learn to walk and talk at different times; learning to read is just the same. It is not a race!

With patience and encouragement, reading will be a positive experience for you and your child.

If you have any questions or need help in supporting your child with reading please do not hesitate to ask and we will try our best to help.

Learning to Read Together

Being able to read is the most important skill children will learn during their early schooling and has far reaching implications for life-long confidence and well being.

Schools nationally are adjusting their approach to reading. There will be a greater emphasis on a synthetic phonics method of teaching the letter sounds, in a way that is fun and active. We will have a daily phonics session lasting about 20 minutes. Children will learn how to use the letter sounds to read and write words.

Parental support is important to all children as they benefit from plenty of praise and encouragement whilst learning. You should be guided by the pace at which your child wants to go. If interest is being lost, leave reading for a while and then come back to it later. Not all children find it easy to learn to blend sounds. Regular practice will lead to fluency and confidence in reading.

At Key Stage 1 we teach phonics and reading through the Read, Write Inc scheme.

This teaches the following basic skills for reading and writing:

  • Knowing that in English reading is tracked from Left to Right and top to bottom.
  • Learning the letter sounds
  • Learning letter formation
  • Blending sounds
  • Identifying sounds in words
  • Spelling and reading the ‘tricky’ words

Learning the letter sounds

There are 44 main sounds in English, not just the 26 letters of the alphabet.

Some sounds are written with two letters, such as ee, th and or

We will teach each letter by its sound, not its name. The letter ‘a’ for example, should be called a (as in ant). The letter n should be nn (as in net). We will try not to pronounce each letter sound with additional sounds e.g. M is mmm not muh. This is will help in blending. The letter names can follow later.

We will not be introducing the letters in alphabetical order. The first group (s, a, t, p, i, n) have been chosen because they make more simple 2 and 3 letter words than any other six letters. The letters b and d are introduced in different groups to avoid confusion. We will let you know each week what the following week’s focus letters will be.


Blending is the process of saying the individual sounds in a word and then running them together to make the word. For example, sounding out d-o-g and making dog. The sounds must be said quite quickly to hear the word. It is easier if the first sound is said slightly louder. Some letters are represented by two letters, such as sh. Children should sound out the sound sh not the individual letters (s-h). With practice they will be able to blend the sound as one sound in a word.

Some words in English have an irregular spelling and cannot be read by blending, such as ‘said’, ‘was’, and ‘one’. We advise that these should not be sounded out. Many of these are common words; we will teach these as ‘tricky’ words practising them regularly. We will send home word lists for your child to practise, some of them may be sounded out; others will be ‘tricky’ words.