Reading and Phonics

When we recognise the sounds (phonemes) that letters represent and join them together we are decoding text and using phonics to read.

At Woodgrange we see systematic synthetic phonics as a key to accessing early reading. However we also believe this is only one of the strategies we use to be a reader. 

Every child is taught a phonics every day until they are reading fluently. 


Phonics sessions are a daily 20-25 minute session taught in mixed ability whole class groups. Any child with gaps in their understanding may have additional short sessions to help them catch up quickly.

The teaching Sequence

We start to teach phonics in Nursery through songs, games, rhymes and stories. Sessions become more focused as the children move into Reception and are very sharply focused in years 1 and 2.

We follow the teaching sequence set out in LETTERS and SOUNDS.
Children learn sets of sounds as they progress through phases.
In Nursery children are learning in Phases 1 
In reception children are learning in phases 2 through to 4.
We expect children to move rapidly through the remaining phases (up to 6) in key Stage 1.

Some words cannot be decoded- they are irregular e.g. was/ the/ go. These are gradually taught as sight words.

letter sound chart

Phase 2-3-5a+phoneme mat

sight words Year 1

230 Common Words

Wider reading skills

Children are taught to interrogate and understand what they are reading through Book Talk sessions. This is a mixed ability group session where adults ask structured questions to probe understanding- both literal- what? Where? and inferential why? what do you think…? questions.

As out curriculum is built around quality core books children have lots of opportunities to explore books, stories, poems and information text as an integral part of their learning.