Phonics and Early Reading

Phonics Intent

The journey of a lifetime starts with the turning of a page.

Rachel Andrews



Our synthetic systematic phonics programme Essential Letters and Sounds empowers every child to make a strong start to their journey as readers from their first day in Reception. We believe that phonics provides the foundation of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier.  Phonics is the process that ensures children have the skills to break words into a sound system, building letter and word recognition.  Children learn to segment words to help support their spelling ability and to blend sounds together to read words. Once phonics skills are secure and children can read fluently and at speed, they can then focus on developing their other reading skills such as comprehension and acquiring knowledge.  Fluent reading skills allow access to the whole curriculum.


How to support your child in learning to read


To best support us in teaching your child to read, we ask that you read the decodable text provided by the school at least four times across the week. Spending 10 minutes a day reading with your child will hugely support them on their journey to becoming an independent reader.
We will be changing children’s books once a week on Fridays. This will allow your child to re-read each text several times, building their confidence and fluency. This is especially important as they begin to learn that the sounds within our language can be spelled in different ways.

For children, re-reading words and sentences that they can decode (sound out) until they are fluent (read with ease and precision) is a key part of learning to read. By reading texts several times, children have the greatest opportunity to achieve this fluency. The texts sent home are carefully matched to the teaching taking place in school. Your child will be practising what they have been taught in school with you at home. We will only ask children to read books independently when they can decode these by themselves.

Any books that are not yet decodable for the children will be sent home as a sharing book. These books will be sent home for you to read with your child, helping us to instill a love of reading from the very beginning of their reading journey. These could be read together with your child reading the words they are able to decode or could be read to your child.


Essential Letters and Sounds parent presentation

Essential Letters and Sounds Phonics Assessment Milestones

Essential Letters and Sounds Phonics Weekly Progression Document

Progression Overview: