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Branston Church of England Infant Academy

'The Best We Can Be'

Phonics and Reading

Phonics and Reading


We teach the key skills of English (as a spoken language, read and written) discretely in literacy and in context through our carefully planned topic work . Our aim is to inspire children to read and write independently, skilfully and with pleasure.




When teaching reading we use a variety of different reading schemes including Read, Write, Inc and Oxford Reading Tree plus others to provide the children with a range of different reading material.  Reading covers a range of skills, word reading, comes first. Phonics, matching letters and sounds - then the techniques of independent decoding and blending grow alongside the understanding of word structure and the historical links between words in the English language. Recall of key words and sight vocabulary grows in line with the age related stages of the National Curriculum. At the same time we teach how to understand and take delight in stories and other books, at first by sharing and listening. We also aim to foster a love of independent pleasure in reading. All this supports children in their own comprehension of a range of texts and sets them off into a world where they appreciate and enjoy a positive relationship with the written word.

At Branston Church of England Infant School we follow Read write Inc. This is a Phonics is a complete literacy programme, for 4 to 7 year-olds learning to read and write. The program is set up with a clear progression.

In Reception all children…..

  • Read storybooks and non-fiction books closely matched to their developing phonic knowledge
  • Take home Phonics storybooks to share
  • Read with fluency and expression
  • Learn to spell using known sounds
  • Write confidently by practising what they want to write out loud first
  • Work well with a partner.

By the end of year 1 children are…..

Are accurate and speedy readers and are ready to move




Writing is actively taught across all lessons both as a discrete skill and in many cross curricular contexts.

In the beginning writing is the transcription of the phonics taught for reading. Correct letter formation and handwriting techniques for later learning are established early. Spellings are taught in sequence as set out in the national curriculum.

Written composition begins with the structure of sentences and the early skills linked to planning (drafting), writing and checking (editing ). Wherever practical we teach writing as a life skill embedded in range of real contexts that tie in to class topics and themes. In order that children write with accuracy and correctly we teach new vocabulary, grammar and punctuation in line with the age related expectations set out in the national curriculum.

The children learn how to do this with class modelled and shared work then demonstrate these skills independently in their writing books. These techniques grow year by year so our children emerge as confident, enthusiastic writers.



Reading – ‘Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.’

Phonic knowledge is taught in Speed Sound lessons and applied in the storybook lessons. Children start reading simple sentences in the Red Ditty books and then read fiction and nonfiction books carefully matched to their growing phonic knowledge from Green level onwards.

They decode words using phonic knowledge but also learn Red words (common irregular words). Talking about the books is an integral part of the programme.

Storytime sessions give children access to fiction, non-fiction and poetry at a level beyond which they can read independently.

Writing – ‘Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.’

The Read Write Inc. Speed sounds lessons follow a careful progression, with sounds being introduced sequentially in a structured and systematic way. The broad order follows three sets:

* Set 1 teaches the most common sound-letter correspondences: m a s d t / i n p g o / c k u b / f e l h sh r / j v y w / th z ch qu x ng nk

* Set 2 Speed sounds teaches alternative vowel sounds: ay ee igh ow oo oo ar or air ir ou oy

* Set 3 Speed sounds is made up of alternative spellings of Set 2 sounds: ea oi e a-e i-e o-e u-e aw are ur er ow ai oa ew ire ear ure

The Speed sounds are taught using cards and are the key focus sounds that children learn. As they move up the levels, more unusual correspondences that they need to learn are pointed out to them as alternatives on the Complex Speed Sound chart, e.g. ph is not taught using a sound card but as an alternative to the more common spelling ‘f’.

These have a special focus throughout the programme, to ensure children learn to read and spell them with confidence.