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At West Blatchington Primary & Nursery School, we believe in developing a reading culture throughout the school by creating welcoming book areas in classrooms, an infant and junior library hosting a variety of books, and raising the profile of reading through a print rich environment, attractive book displays and promoting the written word at all times.

In Foundation Stage (Nursery & Reception) and Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2) the children are taught to read using the “Letters and Sounds” programme. This programme teaches children to decode text phonetically by introducing them to different phonemes (sounds) step by step. This is complimented by using the actions from the ‘Jolly Phonics’ programme to support learning in a multi-sensory way.

Y1 iPads 1

Letters & Sounds

“Letters and Sounds” takes children through six Phases, with children typically moving through Phases 1-4 during Reception, and then onto Phase 5 and 6 throughout Year 1 and 2. Phase 1 is introduced in Nursery and prepares children for hearing the sounds by practising their listening skills. Phase 2 introduces the initial sounds and double consonants. Children also begin to segment sounds and blend them together to read words. Phase 3 introduces sounds made up of two letters e.g. “oo”. Phase 4 consolidates these sounds and the children practise segmenting and blending longer words. Phase 5 introduces alternative ways to spell different sounds e.g. “ay” in “day” and “ai” in “rain”. Phase 6 introduces various spelling patterns which help children to spell more accurately using their phonic knowledge. Throughout these phases children are introduced to “tricky” words that cannot be sounded out. These are also called “High Frequency Words” which the children will come into contact with regularly in their reading.

The children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are taught in whole-class teaching sessions, and each lesson goes through a Review/Revisit – Teach – Practise – Apply format so the children are able to consolidate their learning in a pacey, engaging style. Children who need further consolidation of phonic phases will be taught in addition in smaller groups. Children are closely monitored to assess their learning and they are also assessed half termly to check their progress, this information is recorded on phonic tracker sheets with teaching adjusted accordingly.

Building on their learning from Key Stage 1, children will continue phonics in Year 3 and if needed in Year 4. As they progress throughout Key Stage 2, additional spelling strategies will be taught to the children using the ‘Support for Spelling’ document. A different strategy will be taught each week to help them develop their understanding of more complex spelling patterns.


Children are matched to a colour band in accordance with their reading ability and can select a text to take home on a daily basis. Their book band level is assessed regularly to ensure children are reading within the correct colour band.

Throughout all key stages children are engaged in group guided reading sessions, during these sessions a group of children, of similar reading ability, have multiple copies of the same text and read aloud or individually within a group. A reading focus is discussed with the children and the teacher stops and discusses points from the text and will clarify any misunderstandings or tricky words. To extend the children's reading and promote independence there is a follow-up discussion or piece of written work to establish comprehension of what has been read. This type of reading teaches the children strategies they can then use when reading independently and continues to happen throughout Key Stage 1 and 2. However, with more fluent readers the teacher focuses on developing their inference and deduction skills as well as their knowledge about more complex language and grammatical features of the text. Each guided reading group is listened to on a weekly basis and records are kept, which continually assess the children’s fluency, strategies and comprehension of the texts being read.

Girls reading

Core expectations throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

To learn more about our core expectations for literacy across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, please click on the documents below:

World Book Day 2021

Find out about what we got up to for World Book Day 2021....

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