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Reading Strategy 2020


In Nursery, phonics teaching concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills, laying the foundations the children need to become fluent readers.

‘Letters and Sounds’, a phonics resource providing a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonics separated into 6 phases, is the key document upon which Nursery phonics teaching is based. Children focus on ‘Phase One’ of this document which concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills laying the foundations for them to be successful, accurate and fluent readers and they develop.

Phase one is built around 7 aspects as detailed below and children cover each aspect regularly, dipping in and out with a balance of activities rather than working through each aspect in isolation. 



Each of the above aspects will include the following three strands:  

Tuning in to sounds (auditory discrimination)

Listening and remembering sounds (auditory memory and sequencing)

Talking about sounds (developing vocabulary and language comprehension

Phonics in Reception and Key Stage 1 

In Reception and Key Stage 1 (KS1), it is crucial that children are given the fundamental phonic skills which enable them to decode words so that their reading is fluent, accurate and makes sense to them. Following on from Phase 1 in Nursery, phonics continues to be taught using the Letters and Sounds programme. Phases 2 to 6 are delivered across Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 with learning supplemented with resources and songs from the Jolly Phonics scheme. Links to the songs we use can be found below. 


In the EYFS and Year 1, phonics teaching takes place daily using the following teaching structure:

Revisit – sounds from previous sets are re-capped

Review – where sounds from the previous days or week are recapped within words

Teach – a new sound is introduced and ‘tricky words' (see below) are taught

Practise – the new sound is practised through a variety of games and activities

Apply – the new sound is applied into reading and writing giving it a context


Phonics teaching is fast paced and moves through the teaching of the graphemes at speed so that all sounds are covered as quickly as possible. All phonics lessons are taught to the whole class and then specific and targeted intervention is planned for where more individual needs arise. 


Alongside being taught how to read phonically decodable words, children are also introduced to ‘tricky words’ which are those words that cannot be sounded out and require just to be read at sight. Such words include: he, me, we, I, she, her, saw, my, by etc. Once children have mastered these words, it will help them with the fluency of their reading.


By the end of Year 1, most children will be secure in their learning up to Phase 5. This means that by the time they reach Year 2, the focus shifts to spelling patters.