Phonics and Reading

Children in Reception build upon their initial interest and enjoyment of books and story language from pre-school learning and take part in structured daily phonics and reading activities as well as having access to a range of children initiated activities.

Our main approach to the teaching of both reading and spelling in Reception is through the use of phonics.


Phonics in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 follows the Floppy's Phonics scheme published by Oxford University Press.  Children have daily phonics teaching based upon their level of phonic knowledge.  These sessions involve recognising letters and the sounds they make, blending sounds together to read whole words and segmenting words up into their sounds to help with spelling.  They practice both reading and spelling/writing across the week as well as language work. 

If you would like to support your child with their phonic knowledge you may find the following links helpful:

Phonicsplay website

Family Learning -phonics games


Below are two short videos.  The first demonstrates how to say basic sounds correctly and the second shows how to teach your child to blend sounds in order to read words.

Image by Freepik -

Image by Freepik -


Reading is a very important part of learning in Reception.  The children take part in a range of reading activities each day.  These may include individual reading to an adult, reading together as a whole class, reading aloud to the whole class, listening to an adult read, guided group reading and self-initiated reading for pleasure in the class reading area.   We feel that children reading aloud to an adult on a one to one basis is still a very important part of how children learn to read and make time during the school week for all children to read regularly to adults. 

To support the children with their individual reading we use phonics based reading books as our main approach to teaching reading is through the application of phonics.  We believe that children learn best when they experience a breath of text types and try to provide children with a range of text types within their wider reading experiences such as whole class story, child initiated reading and group reading.

The scheme that the children in Reception use is the Oxford Scheme using decodeable books from the Hero Academy, Alien Adventures, Traditional Tales and Floppy Phonics ranges.  This is the core reading material for children reading in Reception.  However, depending on the children's needs we also use books from Jelly and Bean, Rigby Rocket and Phonics Bug reading schemes.  This provides children at all levels with a range of material that can provide support and challenge as needed.

Teaching Early Reading At Home

Regular reading at home in very important in helping children to develop early reading skills.  We recommend the 'little and often' approach so that you spend a short time as often as you can spare.  This helps children to keep concentration and get more out of the time they spend reading with parents.

Parents who have not got previous experience of helping their children to learn how to read might find the following links useful.

Alphablocks - parents guide and videos   

This website contains a lot of information about early reading.  Although we do not use the Alphablocks videos and games in school, parents may find this information useful and may choose to access the Alphablocks resources at home to support the work done in school.

 Booktrust - tips for parents