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 progression of 'Letters and Sounds', organised into 6 phases and enhanced by the expectation of the National Curriculum. The teaching of phonics is also supported by actions and rhymes to support recall and recognition of sounds. Pupils are taught at their phonics phase level every day for 20 minutes through a wide range of fun, practical and engaging sessions. Our children in Reception and Year 1 also receive daily Phonics Flashcard sessions to support rapid recall and recognition.

In Nursery our children begin learning Phases 1 and 2 Phonics. 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 practice letter recognition for reading, including single phonemes, consonant digraphs, vowel digraphs and trigraphs. Our pupils are provided with a range of experiences to ensure they are secure at segmenting and blending sounds in VC and CVC words, before applying this knowledge to spelling. 

Year 1 pupils consolidate all phases from the Letters and Sounds Scheme before moving on to Phase 5. Pupils are taught to read, and spell,  a range of words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words. Our pupils are provided with a broad range of activities to support them prior to them taking the DfE Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1. 

In the final year of Key Stage 1, Year 2, our pupils are taught the sixth and final phase of Letters and Sounds. This phase provides them with all the tools required to become a fluent reader, reading words automatically if they are familiar, and decoding unfamiliar words silently and quickly. This phase also supports children to become speller, including more complex words. 

Pupils are encouraged to use their phonic techniques to read books. These books are selected to reflect the phonics sounds that the children have been taught. As they increase in difficulty through the stages they develop an awareness of the construction of story lines and character development on a simple basis. Whole class reading sessions look at reading ability and also their comprehension of what they are reading.

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 opportunities to visit the local library 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 and through the marking of reading activities within Comprehension lessons.

  • 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.

  • Use ‘Collins Big Cat’ online reading scheme to support reading at home.

Reading in EYFS and Key Stage 1

  • Nursery – children will have access to books and reading will begin with Big Cat, Phonic Bugs, Oxford Reading Tree, Reading Rockets and Jelly & Bean.

  • Reception – 9am till 9.10am key words and phonic flash cards. 11.15am – 12.15pm word boxes.

  • Key Stage 1 – children will be given 2 books every time they read (one self-chosen)

  • Key Stage 1 children will be heard read individually by the class teacher between 12pm-12.30pm daily

  • Key Stage 1 children will be heard read individually by a lunchtime supervisor between 12.45pm-1.15pm daily

  • Guided Reading in EYFS and Key Stage 1 9am-9.30am guided reading/phonic sessions/GPS and activities in reading journals.

  • Guided reading sessions are based around a class text and cover Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Evaluation, Retrieval and Summarising. (VIPERS)

Reading in Key Stage 2

  • All children in Year 3-5 will be heard read once 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.

  • 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 for alongside the weekly English plan.

  • Activities all relate to questions linked to the current class text and cover the specific content domain to be taught.