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Phonics and Early Reading

Early Reading


Intent Statement

It is our intent at Euxton St Mary’s Catholic Primary School to provide children with a high quality English curriculum that enables children to become confident and successful readers and writers so that they can communicate their ideas effectively to others and foster a love and good understanding of the English language.

 Early reading is a main priority to us at Euxton St Mary’s. In the early teaching of reading, Phonics will be emphasised when the children begin school and throughout Key Stage One. Using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme children are able to develop their early reading and writing throughout the beginning of their journey in school.


Our intention is to encourage children to read a range of texts including both non-fiction and fiction books to develop their knowledge of the world in which they live in and to develop a love of reading, to gain knowledge across the curriculum and to develop their comprehension skills. Reading skills are developed and improved through a combination of shared, guided and independent reading sessions. We intend to ensure that all children are able to read fluently and with confidence by the end of their education at Euxton St Mary’s and to instill a lifelong love of reading.



At Euxton St Mary’s reading is at the heart of the children’s learning. We strive for children to love reading and books through daily reading sessions and story time. Phonics is an important daily lesson in each class from Reception through to Year 2 and for those children in KS2 who need the extra phonics intervention.

The school uses Phonics readers (Pearson’s Bug Club) throughout the school. This means that all children have the opportunity to apply their phonics knowledge to their reading at home and in our Guided Reading sessions in school. It also means that children are given the opportunity to read books in a structured, progressive and challenging approach. The home reading books are matched to the phonics phase the children are working within and recently learnt sounds. The children also enhance their reading through visiting the library once a week and choosing a story that they wish to share with their reading buddy. The reading buddies are from Years 5 and 6. This really encourages a love for reading not only within the infants but also across the upper KS2 children.

In Reception, children begin Phase 2 Phonics in the Autumn Term, learning Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence for all the letters in the alphabet. In the Spring Term, the children in Reception progress to Phase 3 Phonics where they explore digraphs and trigraphs. The children then apply their phonics knowledge in their reading and writing. By the Summer Term the Reception children move on to Phase 4 phonics, which teaches the children to segment and blend longer words with adjacent consonants. The class teacher, to inform future planning and intervention if required, will assess children at the end of each phase.

In Year 1, the children will recap Phase 4 phonics in the Autumn Term but then they will swiftly begin Phase 5 Phonics. Phase 5 phonics teaches a new set of graphemes, alternative pronunciations for graphemes already known and alternative spellings for phonemes. When children start phase 5, they will already be able to read and spell words containing phase 2 and phase 3 graphemes, adjacent consonants and some polysyllabic words. Children will become quicker and more fluent when blending and begin to do this silently. The Key Stage One spelling curriculum will also begin at a stage whereby we will explore tricky words and high frequency words.

In June of Year 1, the children take the Phonics Screening Check where they apply their phonic knowledge and blending skills to read a range of real and pseudo words. The class teacher and phonics subject leader in accordance with DfE guidelines carefully administer this test. Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check will re-take this test in Year 2.

In Year 2, children move onto ‘Spelling Development’, which was previously known as Phase 6 phonics. The aim is for children to become fluent readers and accurate spellers. At this stage, children should be able to read a great number of words using one of three strategies; reading them automatically, decoding them quickly and silently/ decoding them aloud. The children in Year 2 explore prefixes, suffixes, past tense, apostrophes and spelling rules amongst other things.


Phonics Phase

Year Group

Phase 2

Reception Autumn Term

Phase 3

Reception Spring Term

Phase 4

Reception Summer Term / Year One beginning of Autumn Term

Phase 5

Year 1

Phase 6 / Spelling Development

Year 2

By the end of Year 2 formal phonics teaching is usually complete. Children continue to use and apply their knowledge as they progress through the school and there may be some children who require further work to fully secure their phonic knowledge in all phases.



Formative Assessment

A record of books read from the reading scheme is kept. We use running records in order to assess whether a child is ready to move onto the next book band (in line with our phonics and sounds taught).

A record of all guided reading material used are kept and each class has a Guided Reading file including the LAPS ( Learning and Progression Steps) group reading grids.

We use Lancashire KLIPS (Key Learning Indicators for performance for reading and writing).The key learning statements help to;

  • Support teacher’s planning to address gaps in learning;
  • Help teachers focus on where pupils are in their learning;
  • Guide teachers judgements as to whether pupils are on track to meet their year group expectations and how much progress is being made over time.

Summative Assessment

These assessments will take place once a term and will take the form of;

  • Termly assessment and tracking of phonics progress in Reception and Key Stage One.
  • Grammar and Spelling assessments in Year 1 and 2.

Pearson Reading Tests in Year 1 and 2.



Reception and KS1 have daily timetabled sessions of phonics; following and teaching ‘Letters and Sounds’ through the scheme ‘Phonics Play’.


These sessions focus on:

  • Grapheme – phoneme correspondence in a clearly defined sequence.

  • The skill of segmenting words into their constituent phonemes to spell.

  • Blending and segmenting which are reversible skills.

The teachers use a range of resources such Pearson Bug Club Reading Books and a range of interactive games to enhance teaching and learning.  

At the end of Year 1, pupils are tested by completing the official Phonics Screening Test. The children are asked to read a selection of real and made up words and the results of these tests are reported to parents.

Articulation of Phonemes

A useful video clip showing the correct 'pure' pronounciation of phonemes (units of sound).