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Churchill C.E.

Primary School

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Reading and phonics


Reading well is the key to achieving success throughout school and later life. We are proud to help children develop a love of reading that will last their whole lives.


The first books brought home by the children will not have any text at all. This encourages children to "tell their own story", a vital step in the development of their oral skills. Children can sequence events, use traditional story language and describe characters in their own words, becoming articulate and confident in expressing their thoughts and feelings. Through discussing books with adults and siblings, children begin to understand story structure and develop the comprehension skills they will use in reading lessons throughout the school.


Children bring their reading record book, books, zippy wallets and pocket rockets into school with them every day.

Our expectation in Year R/1 is that children read either with an adult or an older sibling for at least five minutes every day. Please log your child’s reading in their reading record either with a date, signature or book title.


We encourage children to change their reading books independently, so please remind them every day!  



What is phonics?

The alphabet contains only 26 letters. Spoken English uses about 44 sounds (phonemes).

Once children begin learning sounds, they are used quickly to read and spell words. 


The phonics code breaker:

Phoneme - a sound as it is said

Grapheme - a sound that is written

Digraph- two letters that work together to make the same sound

Trigraph - Three letters that work together to make the same sound

Split digraph - Two letters that work together to make the same sound, separated by another letter


When children start to read, they learn to identify the sounds they have been taught in phonics lessons and blend these together to sound out words. To support this very early reading, children take home Pocket Rocket booklets which are carefully designed to practice the sounds they have been learning that day. These support our teaching throughout Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the phonics programme.


Click on the links below for useful reading and phonics resources:

Oxford Owl for School and Home

Phonics Games for the Classroom and Home - Phonics Bloom

Letters and Sounds, English Games for 5-7 Years - Topmarks


Children in Year 1 take part in the Governments Phonics Screening Check during the month of June. This check is an informal task carried out 1:1 with a teacher to provide information that the children are making progress within phonics to become a fluent reader. It is a list of 40 words presented as real words and pseudo words (e.g. brip, snorp) to see if children are using their phonics to read the words. It takes no more than 5-10 minutes.

Our consistent approach to the teaching of our systematic phonics curriculum enables children to become confident, fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers, which in turn, unlocks doors to the rest of the curriculum allowing children to flourish in all areas.