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Phonics and Reading

At Bysing Wood, we intend for all children to leave as at the end of Year 6 with a love of reading and to have reached the expected standard, so that they can access their next phase of their learning. Our children are encouraged to look at and read a variety of books and texts, both at school and at home. We aim to do this by:

  • Our phonics teaching
  • Whole class reading
  • Individual reading
  • Reading at home
  • Reading for Pleasure



Following recent government guidance, we have invested in ‘Essential Letters and Sounds’ to teach early reading in our school. This programme is based on Letters and Sounds (2007). This change will impact the way phonics and reading are taught. All the changes will have a positive effect on the children’s learning, and we are very excited to implement this new programme.

Children’s progression in phonics is directly related to their reading ability. The Essential Letters and Sounds programme has a consistent and progressive approach, which interlinks both the learning of new sounds and applying them to reading. The aim is for the children to be working alongside their peers with similar phonics knowledge within their daily sessions. The children are being continuously assessed and interventions will be put in place to make sure that the children keep up, rather than catch up. 


To best support us in teaching your child how to read, we ask that you read the decodable text provided by the school,

  • 4 times across the week
  • 10 minutes a day

We will be changing children’s books once a week, this allows your child to re-read each text several times building their confidence and fluency. This is especially important as they begin to learn that the sounds within our language can be spelt in different ways. It is a key part of learning to read that children re-read words and sentences that they can decode (sound out) until they are fluent (read with ease and precision). By reading texts several times children have the greatest opportunity to achieve this fluency. The texts sent home are carefully matched to the teaching taking place in school. Your child will be practising what they have been taught in school with you at home.

When reading, we must use pure sounds when we are pronouncing the sounds and supporting children in reading words, for example, ‘b’ not ‘buh’. If we mispronounce these sounds we will make reading harder for our children.

Phase 2 Pronunciation

This is "Phase 2 Pronunciation" by KSTE on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Phase 3 Pronunciation

This is "Phase 3 Pronunciation" by KSTE on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Whole Class Reading

Reading is taught through whole class teaching sessions. Every session begins with a starter activity, which is often an image, that children of all abilities can discuss and answer verbally. Then, a reading skill is introduced and explicitly taught and modelled. The following sessions in the week consolidate the skills taught and gives the children an opportunity to practice the skill. We also value the teaching of vocabulary, so therefore each session will contain words or phrases that are taught. which are relevant to the text the children will read. Within the sessions, a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry are used to promote and expose children to a variety of genres and authors. 

Individual Reading 

At Bysing Wood, we use a graduated system which is largely based around the PM reading scheme, which children begin at the start of Year 1. Each child chooses their own books from the level they are currently assessed at. Pupils are assessed regularly and moved to an appropriately challenging level when they have shown they can understand what they have read and can fluently decode. 

Children read to a school adult regularly. If they read their reading book to an adult, a comment is written in their reading records, however, children also read to adults during whole class reading and through topic activities, these reads will not be recorded in the reading records.

Reading at Home

Reading underpins the rest of the learning across the curriculum; therefore, it is vital that children are given the opportunities and time to practice the skills at home. Please make it part of your daily routine to listen to your child read and then make a note in their reading record. If you require any support with reading with your child, please speak to your child's class teacher or myself, Mrs Marsh.

Reading for Pleasure

If an activity is enjoyable, we are more likely to want to repeat it. Therefore, we want children to develop a love of reading and see it as a way of learning new information and for entertainment. Each class has a book area, with books to promote and inspire reading. The classes have regular opportunities for reading for pleasure where the children can select a text of choice to read independently or with a friend. We also visit the local library and have had visits from local authors. Recently, we have created a 'Reading Snug', which children can use during lunchtime as a cozy place to go and read a book. This space is becoming increasingly popular! 

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