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St John's Church of England Primary

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Phonics & Reading

When children join St John's, they begin to interpret their sounds as spellings; a key part in enabling them to read and write. Children have an explicit 20 minute phonics session each day in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. Phonics is also continued into Key Stage 2, as a tool to support reading and writing.


Phonics sessions in EYFS are planned, and delivered using a phonics programme known as 'Sounds Write'. Children will learn new spellings each week and will be taught how to read and represent sounds through words.


Years 1 and 2 are also using the phonics programme 'Sounds Write' and will be developing the phonetic knowledge of the children by looking at the extended code. This entails looking at the first spellings of different sounds in Year 1 and then progressing to more spellings of the different sounds in Year 2. Children will continue to be taught to read and represent these sounds through words.


At the end of Year 1, all children will sit the national Phonics Screening, and results will be submitted to the government as well as given to parents alongside their end of year report. Children who do not meet the pass mark in the Year 1 Phonics Screening, will re-sit the screening at the end of Key Stage 1.

To support the learning in school, we have included some useful documents and information about the teaching of phonics and reading at home.


Prompts for reading with your child


The Book Introduction

· Talk about what sort of book it is e.g. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry

· Where possible relate the story to the children’s own experience

· Look at front cover and

· encourage prediction; Who? Where? What?

· Look at back cover and blurb

· Look at the illustrations and talk about them together.


Sharing the book together

· Ask open questions about the text and characters - ‘why do you think…?’

· Model language patterns that may be unfamiliar.

· Point out high frequency words (‘tricky words’)

· Encourage prediction

· Occasionally dip into the text and talk about letter-sound relationships (phonics).


Prompts for Independent Reading

· Were there enough words?

· Read it with your finger this time.

· Read it again to see if you can make the words match. Were you right?

· Where is the tricky word?

· What did you notice?

· Would ……….. fit there?

· Would ………. make sense?

· Do you see a word you know?

· Check the picture.

· What happened in the story?

· What would make sense in the sentence there and sound right?

· What would you expect to see at the beginning of ……..

When your child has finished

  • Show me how you point as you read
  • Show me what a word is.
  • Show me a letter
  • Find a word that starts with …..
  • Put this word card under...
  • Can you make this word with your letters?
  • Put a counter under a capital letter / full stop on page ….
  • Can you find a lower case ….to match capital…..?
  • Can you find speech bubbles, speech marks?
  • Can you find a word that rhymes with …..?
  • Can you find a word that starts with…..?


Recall Questions

  • Where does the story take place?
  • When did the story take place?
  • What did he/she look like?
  • Who was he/she?
  • Where did he/she live?
  • Who are the characters in the book?
  • Where in the book would you find?


Follow-on activities

  • Play a game using text from the book.
  • Re-order chopped up sentences or words from the book.
  • Write your own story based on the book and illustrate.
  • Re-tell the story with finger puppets.
  • Re-read familiar texts with the same or similar structure.
  • Paint a picture of a favourite character, part of the story, etc



Helping your child read a decodable book within the Sounds Write scheme

In this video, it shows you how to help your child to read a decodable story.