Reading & Phonics

At LHPSN we understand that reading is a fundamental skill that underpins almost everything that we do. We also know that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to your children’s educational performance. We believe that reading should be an enjoyable experience where children are able to enjoy a wide variety of genres, discover new learning and stimulate their imagination and curiosity. Reading is one of the main key areas we teach daily alongside writing and maths.

Who can I speak to about Reading?
Your child's class teacher will be able to answer any questions about your child's reading. You can also speak to the Reading Leads for an overview of how we teach reading. The Reading Leads are Mrs Chivers, Miss Hahlo (KS2) and Miss Boyer (KS1).

How we teach reading at LHPSN
At LHPSN we follow Letters and Sounds programme to teach phonics. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills, setting out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

There are six overlapping phases. The table below is a summary based on the Letters and Sounds guidance:



Phase One (Nursery/Reception)

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two (Reception) 

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three (Reception onwards) 


The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four (Reception onwards) 

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump

Phase Five (Throughout Year 1 and 2)


We move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)


Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.

In Foundation stage and KS1 all children take part in daily phonics sessions. We cater for individual needs and have a structured but flexible approach. We aim to provide as many opportunities as possible to allow the children to develop the full range of reading skills that will enable them to become mature and enthusiastic readers. All children take part in weekly small group reading sessions with reading books sent home as often as they are required.

There is a detailed and well-structured reading scheme in place based on Oxford Reading Tree and a variety of other materials which include; Project X, Literacy links and Literacy World.

During their time in KS2 all children take part in a daily, extended literacy lesson within which the children read a high quality text specifically chosen to compliment the literacy curriculum and themes that are being studied. This involves the class teacher modelling reading to their class. Every child during the week will be invited to read aloud. If a text is particularly challenging, children may also be given a ‘pre-read’ or chance to read in smaller group with support prior to the lesson.  

Some children may need to continue reading small group session if they have been identified as still needing support with the mechanics of reading (e.g. fluency and decoding). This is led by the class teacher or teaching assistant.  

All children bring a book home to read – a book of their choosing from a range that are age/ability appropriate.

Supporting those who need that little bit extra

We understand that all children develop at different rates and follow different paths into reading. For those children who need that little bit extra support, there are various interventions that we use to help. Children may be supported by receiving additional one to one reading sessions, which allows for specific skills (e.g. comprehension) to be targeted and addressed. ‘Toe by toe’ is also a programme that we use to help children who find decoding and reading fluently difficult. We have found this highly successful; not only in boosting children’s reading ability, but also their self-esteem and confidence. We are also extremely fortunate to have parent/grandparent volunteers who give up their free time to come into school and read with the children. 

What you can do to help…

Reading with your child is vital. Research shows that it's the single most important thing you can do to help your child's education. It's best to read little and often, so try to put aside some time for it every day.

Children should be encouraged to read aloud and read on their own, but being read to is really important too, so don’t overlook the bedtime story! Focus on encouraging your child to read fluently and with expression, understanding more complex plots and broadening their vocabulary as well as building an understanding of how punctuation and grammar are used.

Our reading activities leaflet will provide lots of activities to make reading an even more enjoyable and active experience for all.

And most importantly, continue to enjoy what you do together, give lots of encouragement and expand the reading experience to keep your child switched on. Don’t forget – if they are reading something they are not enjoying - STOP!! Choose something different. Take a look at some of the weblinks below for inspiration:


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    Lickey Hills Primary School and Nursery
    Old Birmingham Road
    B45 8EU