Phonics and Reading

Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn to do. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to become a confident and competent reader. We want all the children at the academy to love reading.

In the early stages of their reading, pupils are introduced to the Oxford Reading Tree (ORT) scheme and may continue with this until they are approximately 6 years old.

Later on, Accelerated Reader is used for monitoring independent reading practice while promoting reading for pleasure. Using information generated by the software, teachers can help students select books that are difficult enough to keep them challenged, but not too difficult to cause frustration.


The Teaching and Learning of Phonics

The Children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 are taught phonic knowledge and skills through a programme called Jolly Phonics. Jolly Phonics is a fun and motivating, child-centered approach to the teaching and learning of phonics. With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method enables children to learn through story, actions and songs.

Using a synthetic phonics approach, Jolly Phonics teaches children the five key skills for reading and writing. These are:

Learning the letter sounds

Children are taught the 42 main letter sounds. This includes alphabet sounds as well as digraphs such as sh, th, ai and ue.

Learning letter formation

Using different multi-sensory methods, children learn how to form and write the letters.


Children are taught how to blend the sounds together to read and write new words.

Identifying the sounds in words (Segmenting)

Listening for the sounds in words gives children the best start for improving spelling.

Tricky words

Tricky words have irregular spellings and children learn these separately.

Jolly Phonics Parent Teacher Guide

Year 1 Phonics Screening Test

Towards the end of the summer term, children in Year 1 sit a statuary phonics screening test. During this test, the children’s phonic knowledge and skills are tested. An example of the phonics screening check from last can be downloaded below


(please attach last years screening check)


Guided Reading at Fieldhead Primary Academy

Guided reading is an essential element in the teaching of reading. Guided reading is when we teach children a wide range of reading skills based around high quality texts.

It is a carefully structured session with a clear learning objective which involves pupils learning, using and applying reading skills to develop independent reading strategies. Key elements involved in the teaching of reading include: predicting, clarifying new words, generating and answering questions on what has been read and summarising key points. Teaching is carefully tailored to meet the needs of each child with appropriate support and challenge built in to each sessions.

Guided reading also allows us to make explicit links with English units. Children can identify the features – both organisational, language and grammatical – of the text type. They can also explore the writer’s craft to develop understanding of the effects authors create, their impact and how they have been created within the key texts and this then helps children with their writing in English lessons.

At Fieldhead we use a single text for our whole class guided reading, in Keys Stages 1 and 2 and this is linked with a learning challenge topic each half term. This means the same key text is used in both reading and writing lessons to get the most from the texts and the topics. Please see the curriculum overview section for a full list of the key texts covered in each year group.