Teaching of Phonics & Reading

Teaching of Phonics & Reading


All children in Reception and Year 1 participate in daily phonics sessions.

At Hartest we follow the Read Write Inc Phonics Programme.

The initial activities are practical and embedded throughout the week within a thematic approach through indoor and outdoor activities.

The programme progresses to involve the children in writing sounds and simple sentences using their phonic knowledge.  As the children progress at different rates, they are then taught in ability groups to match their pace of learning and mastery of the sounds.

The programme continues in Year 1 where the pupils learn within ability groups. They continue to consolidate their knowledge of phonics and develop their understanding and comprehension of written texts within the Read Write Inc scheme.  We use the Read Write Inc. Reading Scheme as well as other texts which support children’s acquisition of phonics.



Reading is a gateway to all learning and future life experiences. The teaching of reading and encouraging our pupils to develop a love of reading takes high priority at Hartest.

Being able to listen to stories is the first step for our pupils to becoming avid readers who can ‘lose’ themselves in a book! Through reading children also begin to develop a range of skills including:-

  • Imagination,
  • Creativity,
  • Understanding of grammar,
  • Spelling
  • Extend their vocabulary,
  • Asking and answering their own questions such as, “I wonder what will happen next?” or “ Why do they chose to paint the door red?”


Reading opportunities at Hartest include:-

  • Independent Reading – a child reads with an adult and discusses the text they have read.
  • Guided Reading – when a group of children at a similar stage work on a specific skill with an adult
  • Shared Reading – when an adult works with a group or whole class and models some of the reading for the children, including having a ‘whole class’ reading book.
  • Adults reading to the children from a variety of genres. Listening to stories captures the children’s interest and introduces them to a wide range of genres which they would otherwise not choose to read.
  • Higher ability pupils take part in ‘Reading Gladiators’ sessions.
  • All pupils have a ‘Reading Eggs’ login and access to the ‘Reading Eggs’ app.

Reading takes place across the curriculum beyond English lessons or designated reading sessions.

  • Early readers benefit from access to a wide range of texts from several different reading schemes, which are all phonics based readers.
  • Individual reading sessions- these takes place any point throughout the day and allow the children to enjoy reading in a quiet calm atmosphere within a busy day.
  • Pupils are encouraged to read both fiction and factual extracts within lessons.
  • Older pupils will study novels, often as part of a larger themed topic.
  • All pupils are members of our library. Books may be loaned and exchanged within a designated library session or at lunchtimes. Pupils are encouraged to choose a book that develops a love of reading, in addition to reading scheme books.
  • Pupils are also encouraged to bring in books from home.

Working with parents is very important to us; and we encourage parents to read to and with their children at home. This also includes talking about the book or passage they have just read to reinforce the child’s comprehension of individual words and the whole text. Talking about any illustration within a fact or fiction book and its importance is equally important. Children are also encouraged to participate in ‘Reading Eggs’ at home.

Key Stage 2:

Most children have progressed beyond the phonic reading programme by the time they start Year 3. In Key Stage 2 the focus is on improving the child’s confidence and comprehension of the written text and by Upper Key Stage 2 there is a focus on higher order skills such as inference and deduction.

For some pupils, further consolidation of their phonics and reading skills continues into Key Stage 2 within focused intervention sessions.


Useful phonics and reading links:

Set 1 sounds:

Set 2 sounds:

Set 3 sounds:

Read Write Inc. Parent tutorial videos: