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Phonics & Reading


​Our children leave Burnopfield Primary School with a love of reading, and a secure awareness of the strategies required to be fluent readers.


The journey of reading starts with our youngest children in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. The ability to read is within reach of every child, and the starting point for this is through the systematic teaching of phonics.

Our teaching and learning follows the Bug Club Phonics scheme, which is organised into 6 phases. In Nursery our children begin learning Phases 1 and 2. They are taught about the awareness of Environmental Sounds, instrumental sounds and body percussion. They then move sequentially onto developing an awareness of rhyme, this is a key skill which supports phonological development. Before embarking on their journey into Phase 2 phonics, our Nursery children are exposed to the skill of oral segmenting and blending. Our Reception pupils then add to these building blocks as they are taught Phase 2 -4 phonics. They are provided with the opportunities to practise letter recognition for reading, including single phonemes, consonant digraphs, vowel digraphs and trigraphs.

Year 1 pupils cover phases 5 and 6 where they are taught to read and spell a range of words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words. The teaching of phonics is also supported by actions and rhymes. Pupils receive daily phonics lessons and this is supported by rhyme time sessions to enhance recall and recognition of sounds. Not fully decodable, irregular, high frequency words are also taught in each phase as part of the Bug Club Scheme.


Our pupils are taught to apply their phonic techniques to the decoding of books from the Bug Club Reading Scheme which are matched to the phonic sounds that have been covered.


Regular assessment is built into the Bug Club Phonics programme across the phases and statutory assessment occurs at the end of Year 1 when the children take the DfE Phonics Screening Check.

​Children with SEND will still follow the Bug Club Phonics scheme but may receive additional support or take part in extra sessions as needed.

Reading at Burnopfield Primary

At Burnopfield we:

  • Read a varied selection of texts and different genres whilst gaining an increased level of fluency, intonation, accuracy, independence and understanding.

  • Develop different strategies for approaching reading. These should include a very strong emphasis on phonics in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 as well as for some pupils in KS2. Recognition of picture clues, sight words and context will be developed when appropriate.

  • Use reading as a means of information gathering and retrieval.

  • Display a developing ability to describe, predict, evaluate, deduce and infer. These skills become more finely honed as children move through Key Stage 2 and also consider authorial devices and choices of vocabulary.

  • Develop positive attitudes towards books so that reading is a pleasurable activity both in school and at home.

  • Use their reading skills as an integral part of their learning throughout the entire curriculum.

The children will:

  • Relate reading to their own experiences and environment.

  • Have regular opportunities to read silently or share books with the realisation that reading time is valuable and should occupy everyone’s attention, including that of the teacher.

  • Carry out regular in-depth study of a ‘class’ novel and use it to develop skills in all aspects of English

  • Acquire research skills necessary for the use of dictionaries, atlases and other information books and from ICT based resources.

  • Develop the ability to read aloud to others with appropriate intonation, expression and inflection.

  • Be able to discuss books they have read, relating to plot, characters, themes and their own responses.

  • Acquire an increasingly large sight vocabulary.

  • Be able to bring in books from home and to share them with others.

  • Be encouraged to continue the reading process at home.

  • Recognise that reading is an essential part of all areas of learning.

  • Gain confidence and enjoyment to promote lifelong reading.

  • Use the class library regularly.

  • Have regular opportunities to visit the school library to learn about and borrow books.

The teacher will:

  • Read aloud (fiction and nonfiction) regularly within literacy and across the curriculum.

  • Keep records of children’s achievements within Guided Reading sessions.

  • Value books and show an interest in them by setting a personal example.

  • Teach children to read and share books with children on a regular basis.

  • Highlight the specific links between reading and writing.

  • Actively and consistently, encourage reading for pleasure, both in and out of school.

The school will:

  • Ensure access to books begins from Nursery.

  • Maintain reading as a valued, high profile activity which accesses the whole of the curriculum.

  • Ensure books are maintained and supplemented appropriately in the class library.

  • Ensure that class reading areas/ libraries are attractively presented and readily accessible to the children.

  • Consider new and innovative resources available to support the teaching and learning of reading.

  • Give more able pupils the opportunity to extend their ability to respond in depth to comprehension questions in guided reading sessions.


Reading in EYFS and Key Stage 1

  • Children will take part in a daily phonics session using the Bug Club Phonics scheme.

  • Children will take home a book to practise. This will be matched to the current phonics phase children are working on in class so that they can decode the words. 

  • Children will also be able to access selected online books on the Bug Club website at home.

  • Each half term a class text will be used to teach English lessons. Reading activities as well as writing will be linked to this text. 

  • Class teachers will listen to children reading the Bug Club books at least once a week.


Reading in Key Stage 2

  • All children in Year 3-5 will be heard read at least twice a week by the class teacher. This will be in addition to the one-to-one reading groups which take place between 8.30am-8.50am for some children.

  • Year 3 & 4 children have a reading record book which should be dated and signed every time a child reads (at home and at school)

  • Year 5 & 6 children have a planner which should be dated and signed every time a child reads (at home and at school)

Guided Reading in Key Stage 2

  • Guided reading sessions are planned alongside the weekly English plan.

  • These sessions will focus on reading fluency and enjoyment of reading as well as understanding of the text.

  • Teachers will model fluent reading and give children lots of opportunities to practise reading in these sessions.

  • Children will also complete some activities linked to the current class text and reading skills using ‘VIPERS’: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Evaluating, Retrieval and Summarising.

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