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Phonics and Reading

We view reading as a fundamental life skill and aim to develop a genuine love and lasting passion for reading within every child.  Children who enjoy reading, achieve more highly across the curriculum.  We believe that phonics helps to give children the foundations to develop into fluent readers and writers. We prioritise in ensuring that children gain the phonic knowledge and language comprehension skills necessary to read. These are essential to the foundations for their current and future learning. The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority at Woodfield and reading is taught in a logical, systematic progression which enables children to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to develop as readers.

Adults in our school act as role models and demonstrate an enthusiasm for reading and will regularly read to children.  We recognise the importance of ensuring children access a wide range of high quality reading material.  Through reading, we want our pupils to have the opportunity to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.  Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading will also empower our children both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. Reading is viewed as a key skill across the curriculum.  It is an integral part of every child’s school day at Woodfield. 

At Woodfield Infant School, the systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority.  We are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers and believe that phonics helps to give children the foundations to develop into fluent readers and writers.  Phonics is the process that is used to help children read and spell by breaking words down into separate sounds or ‘phonemes’.  It enables children to blend sounds together to read whole words and to spell by segmenting words into individual sounds.

Woodfield School teaches phonics through a daily letters and sounds programme.


During the induction sessions and planned curriculum meetings, staff at school will share with you our approach to the teaching of phonics.


We use a variety of reading schemes across the school, including Rigby Star and Bug Club, to teach new skills and consolidate learning. Reading is taught individually and as part of guided/group reading sessions.


At the end of Year One, your child's phonic knowledge will be assessed using a statutory assessment known as the Phonics Screening Check. The result of this screening check will be shared with parents and carers in July.


Phonic Books

Phonic books are fully decodable which means children can sound the words out using their phonic knowledge. Our phonic books are marked with a coloured spot to help to distinguish them from the banded reading books we also use. They are carefully organised to match the progression of our phonics teaching and the books sent home to children will match the phonics they have been working on in class. 


The Importance of Phonic Books

Learning to read isn’t simple. Most children learn to read by learning the phonics code that helps them to make sense of reading. They require a rigorous and systematic approach to develop their reading skills through daily phonics teaching in school.  Government guidance states that children should be practising reading at home using  phonic books to match the phonics they are learning in school. This will enable them to become equipped with the reading skills that will form the foundations of their future learning. It is of utmost importance that all children should have plenty of opportunities to practise reading and re-reading phonic books at home to reinforce what is being taught in school.


Changing Books

In order to build fluency in reading and phonics, it is crucial that children read and re-read decodable books. Therefore, children will bring home phonic books which they will have the opportunity to change 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Banded reading books will be changed once a week on a Friday.  Both reading books should be kept in book bags everyday so that class staff can monitor reading.


A Parents' Guide to Phonics

The Phonic Screening Check

Progression in Reading

Spotlight on Reading - Parents' Information from Newsletter