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Early Reading and Phonics

Early Reading and Phonics at Warmsworth Primary School

Reading is a vital, lifelong skill that opens doors to a world beyond our own experiences and at Warmsworth Primary School we aim to ensure that every child is able to develop a love of reading. We believe that all of our children, should have strong decoding skills and a range of strategies that allow them to become fluent, confident readers, who are keen to learn new vocabulary.

Through experience of a wide range of quality texts, our children will be able to comprehend and discuss texts as well as being able to use their skills as an access tool for finding out information about the wider curriculum.

We understand the importance of parents and carers in the development of their child’s reading and encourage a home-school partnership to enhance the skills being taught in school.

We further enhance our provision through access to library visits and author visits, as well as school events focussed around fostering a love of reading.

Our pupil’s reading journey starts in Foundation Stage 1 with the beginning of phonics, through transitional reading and ensuring that children are secondary ready by the time they leave us in Year 6.

Throughout the Foundation Stage and as the children progress through school, we use the scheme ‘Little Wandle’ for the delivery of systematic phonics. In Foundation Stage One children begin to listen to sounds in the environment and progress into recognising individual phonemes. The daily delivery of phonics is based on recapping previous sounds and using multi-sensory approaches to enable children to learn new sounds by first reading them and then learning to apply these to their writing.

We value fluency of reading because this supports children in gaining understanding of what they have read and as a result of this children
will repeat words and phrases if they have blended them; this is also practised as part of echo reading.

Our curriculum is predominantly text-led and as a result of this children will experience a wide range of texts such as picture books, non-fiction texts, nursery rhymes and traditional tales.

Our individual reading scheme in the Foundation Stage is built around the phonics that they have learned in class and children will read at home books which contain the phonics that they have been learning in class.

During the Foundation Stage, key rings are shared with parents so that children can practise sounds and words at home and we involve parents in our phonics teaching through parent workshops so that parents can experience how we teach phonics in class. During recent school closures as a  result of Covid, we have shared videos to ensure that parents are able experience our teaching format.

Phonics learning continues through into Key Stage 1 using the same phonics lesson format into year 1 and year 2. Where children still need further support after their year 1 phonics assessment, small group work is used to ensure rapid progress is made.

During Key Stage One, the focus on fluency is vital and children are suported to learn about reading for understanding. It is at Key Stage 1 that reciprocal reading is introduced which includes the four key elements of comprehension: prediction, questioning, clarifying and summarising.

Our home reading scheme continues to be predominantly matched to children’s phonics understanding, until they have a secure grasp of this learning. As children progress through the reading scheme throughout their time at school, more high frequency and tricky words, different genre and levels of difficulty are introduced.

Throughout Key Stage Two, fluency and reciprocal reading become the two main components of reading lessons and these are often based on a class novel where it is the driver for the theme, although non-fiction skills and poetry also form part of our rich reading opportunities.

Parents are invited in to take part in reciprocal reading sessions as part of our parent workshops. As well as reading for pleasure, we also ensure that children have ample opportunity to practise their reading skills to research topics, either at the library or using computers.

We have a sticker and bookmark scheme throughout school to encourage children to read frequently at home; this is proving to be a good motivator for our pupils.

Children are encouraged to apply their phonic knowledge when reading their books as well as other cues which may aid fluency.

We celebrate reading in our ‘Reader of the Week’ assembly, where badges are awarded to those children who their teachers have identified as having made good progress each week.

In order to further promote a love of reading our children access visits to the local library and experience author visits in school - both virtually and in person.


For more information about the teaching of Phonics at Warmsworth Primary School, please view the Powerpoint Presentation below:

Phonics at Warmsworth Primary School - Little Wandle


Warmsworth Primary School
An outstanding,
inclusive mainstream school setting
for 3-11 year olds.
Mill Lane,
South Yorkshire
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