Phonics & Reading



Phonics & Reading Statement of INTENT

Children at Spire will access high quality, daily phonics teaching which will equip them with the skills to become successful and confident readers. Children will develop resilience, independence, and the ability to apply their skills, with a ‘have a go’ attitude, when faced with unfamiliar words. The regular and consistent approach to the teaching and learning of phonics in our school allows children to decode words more readily and this has a significant impact on reading fluency. We value reading as a key life skill and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. Through consistent, high quality provision children will foster a love of reading, a thirst for knowledge and become eager learners.

The Teaching of Phonics and Reading

The school follows the government ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme which develops the children’s ability to hear, discriminate, recognise and write the sounds.
Letters and Sounds is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. Children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’ – words with spellings that are unusual or that children have not yet been taught.

The children’s reading skills are further developed through our reading scheme (Collins Big Cat Phonics) which provides fully decodable reading books aligned to Letters and Sounds. Children are provided with books that are closely matched to their phonic ability and they take home extra resources that help to consolidate the learning that they have been doing in the daily phonics lessons. The children also have access to a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books, to help foster independent choice and reading for pleasure. A shared reading experience is also provided through a whole class text. Regular teaching time is allocated to reading. Individual and guided reading takes place regularly across the school and class story times are used to develop a love of reading.

Below you will find links to the different letters and sounds children learn from Phase 1 to Phase 6.

Phonics Toolkit Nursery

Phonics Toolkit Reception

Phonics Toolkit Year 1

Phonics Toolkit Year 2


There is also a glossary linked below of the terminology we use in our daily phonics sessions.

Phonics Terminology

Year 1 Statutory Phonics Screening Check

Every year in June, the Year One pupils take the National Phonic Screening check. The check consists of 20 real words and 20 pseudo-words that a pupil reads aloud to the teacher. Pseudo words, or 'alien-words', are words that that are phonically decodable but are not actual words with an associated meaning e.g. brip, snorb, twooch.

Pseudo words are included in the check specifically to assess whether your child can decode a word using phonics skills and not their memory. Although the check is not treated as a formal test, the children are expected to reach a benchmark level.

At Spire, our aim is to implement this INTENT through quality first Teaching & Learning.

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