St Brigid's RC Primary School

Phonics and Reading

At St Brigid’s we want all our children to be motivated readers – readers that enjoy reading and have a love for books.

We teach reading through a variety of strategies -

  • Daily phonic sessions in Nursery, Reception and Year 1
  • Targeted phonic interventions for children in Year 2 and KS2
  • Daily guided reading sessions in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2
  • Targeted guided reading for children in KS2
  • Reciprocal reading sessions in KS2
  • Shared reading during literacy time
  • Reading high quality stories to the whole class



We use the ‘Letters and Sounds’ sequence of learning to teach our daily phonic sessions which has been aligned to all our guided reading books to ensure that phonics and reading is matched.  Letters and Sounds teaches phonics though 5 phases of teaching and learning.  Phase 5 teaching and learning has been adapted in line with Year 1 spelling expectations from the National Curriculum.   Throughout phonics teaching and learning, children are taught the sound (the phoneme) made by a letter or group of letters and they are taught to blend these together to read words.  For example, d – o- ll  blended together reads ‘doll’.  


The daily sessions begin in Nursery starting with phase one.  During phase one children are taught to tune into and talk about the sounds around them – sounds from instruments, sounds made by objects, animal sounds, rhyming sounds and different sounds that the voice can make.  They are also taught phonological awareness – tuning into alliteration (words that start with the same sound - ‘dancing dinosaur)’ as well as oral blending and segmenting.  The children are also taught many nursery rhymes and regularly reread shared books to support them with their language development and love of reading. 


During Reception, children are taught phase 2 and phase 3 phonics.  They have a daily 20 minute phonic session where they are taught to read and write words and simple sentences using phonics as the first strategy.   At the end of Reception, we want the majority of children to be secure at phase 3 and being taught at phase 4.  Phase 5 teaching and learning is focused upon in Year 1.   During each phase of learning, the previous phase/s of phonics teaching and learning are revised and consolidated. 


Phase 2 phonics teaching and learning 
Phase 3 phonics teaching and learning 
Phase 4 phonics teaching and learning - focuses on cvcc, ccvc, ccvcc


Phase 5 phonics new graphemes
Phase 5 alternative pronunciations
Alternative spellings for phonemes


Reading books

We use a variety of reading schemes to teach guided reading and for home reading.  These include, Collins Big Cat phonics, Bug Club, Rising stars rocket phonics, dandelion readers, rigby star, Oxford Reading Tree non-fiction phonics and Oxford Reading Project X.   Children have guided reading sessions using books that match their phonics acquisition. 


An important aspect of our early reading approach is that children are given the opportunity to re-read the books they are taught within guided reading - this enables them to build up their fluency and confidence.   

Books used for guided reading are at instructional level.  The children can access them at 90-95% accuracy, the teacher introduces the book with a good walkthrough that introduces the vocabulary they will meet.   During the strategy check, the phonics approach to reading is reinforced and particular words are taken from the text to 'sound out' as a group. 

Books that are chosen for home are at the easy level - The children read them at 95-100% accuracy.  They enjoy reading them and feel successful as a reader.  They read the words and understand what they have read.  

Did you know…


After the age of 5, 80% of the words children learn is from stories

So encourage your child to read every day, even for 10 minutes, talk about unfamiliar words they read. Read story books to your child


Children who read for at least 10 minutes a day are very likely to achieve more than those children who don’t

So listen to your child read for at least 10 minutes a day. Ensure your child brings their book in every day and sign your child’s book


Children who read daily at home, reading a range of things, are 5 times more likely to achieve above national expectations

So visit the library, research and read things on the internet, have a range of books for your child to read at home- newspapers, magazines, different books. Buy a book when it’s their birthday, include a book at Christmas and Easter time. Challenge your child to read at least 3 books when it’s half term.


At St Brigid's every class has a reading spine so that every class has valuable story time where they listen to an adult reading aloud.