• Search
  • Translate

Translate / Traduire / Übersetzen / Tłumaczyć / Išversti / Tulkot / Traducir

School Logo

King's Court First School

Caring, Sharing and Learning Together

Contact Details

Reading and Phonics

Phonics and reading progression from Early Years to year 4

Being a good reader and a good learner are two ‘keys’ that unlock the rest of the curriculum. We focus on high quality texts and meaningful opportunities to teach reading.



In 2022-23 the King's Court First School Year 1 national phonic screening check results were higher than the national average.


Year 2 statutory assessment results 2018-19:  35% of pupils, at King's Court First School, achieved greater depth with their reading which is 10% higher than national average.  These were the last Nationally recorded results before the pandemic.


Early Years starts with Read, Write, Inc (RWI), a Ruth Miskin reading method to support the introduction of phonics.  Learning is planned using the Read, Write, Inc method with a focus on set 1 sounds. We provide lots of opportunities for the children to explore letters and use their phonic sounds through planned activities both adult led and within the environment.


  • Rhymes & songs
  • Games
  • Stories
  • Writing names and other family/familiar words
  • Multisensory experiences – sand, water, outdoor play
  • Children have regular visits to the school library and are able to choose books to take home and share with their families.
  • Story rich environment - stories read to and told to the children
  • Talk 4 Writing - book inspired learning to capture the imagination and interests of the children
  • As soon as the children start at King's Court, are introduced to the shared reading books. Once children are confident with their phonic sounds and apply their knowledge to blend  sounds in to words they begin reading RWI ditties and then move on to books. Children showing an aptitude for phonics/reading progress on to set 2/3 sounds to extend and provide challenge.


Reception & year 1  - use the Read, Write, Inc method to deliver their phonics programme (set 1 and set 2 sounds are predominantly taught at this stage, with advanced learners moving onto set 3).  15 minute sessions are taught daily in reception and 45 minutes within year 1.


  • Additional opportunities are provided through:
  • A multisensory approach– lots of games
  • Songs, rhymes, pencil control and written opportunities
  • Links with physical development and writing
  • Infused into all aspects of the learning environment (continuous provision) – indoors and outdoors (including, dough, water, sand/salt…)
  • Adults take every opportunity to reinforce the phonemes the children have been taught – lining up times e.g. lining up if your name beginnings with the sound ‘s’ , walking to different places in around school e.g. which objects can you find with the sound ‘a’?
  • Reading books which are sent home match the children's phonic knowledge so the children can practice their blending for reading.
  • Classrooms have reading areas where the children can choose from a selection of books both fiction and non fiction to look at during busy learning times (continuous provision.)
  • The children can take home books of their choice from the school library and attend the library weekly.
  • Children are read to regularly - stories, messages, extracts, letters, non-fiction, poetry
  • Staff share stories and encourage children to retell favourites through puppets or props made by the children themselves,
  • Learning opportunities are inspired by the use of high-quality texts.
  • We use the term phoneme (sound) and grapheme (letter) and we teach the children to form their letters correctly (pre-cursive style) in line with the school’s handwriting policy.
  • Children are modelled correct spellings but encouraged as much as possible to use their phonics to sound out (segment) and write down what they hear. ‘Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.’  Early Learning Goal (ELG) Writing
  • Tricky/red words (words which cannot be sounded out, for example, the) are sent home in set groups for parent to support children in learning them on sight and then later on be able to write them. As children progress through the RWI scheme the children are introduced to the red words through story books. 
  • Parents are invited in to hear how we deliver phonics through phonics workshops where we provide lots of suggestions on how to support their children with all aspects of reading and writing.
  • Cracking comprehension sessions are introduced in year 1 to support the children with their comprehension skills.


Year 1 children complete the national phonics screening check each year in June.


Year 2: When the children are confident reading set 3 sounds within words and books with developing fluency in the RWI programme they move on to spelling, punctuation and grammar sessions. These sessions entail:

· Whole class reading sessions with an emphasis on Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar (SPaG), how to identify narrative and non-fiction features.

· Spelling year 2 common frequency words and expected spellings accurately.

· Applying their previous phonics knowledge with greater accuracy within their writing.

· SPAG sessions to consolidate their understanding of spelling, grammar and punctuation to enhance their written skills. This will be consolidated through:

· Daily SPAG sessions

· Spelling quizzes

· Games

· Stories

· Grammar and punctuation detective exercises

· The children will have opportunities to visit the school library and continue to develop their reading fluency and understanding of SPaG.

· Guided reading sessions

· Cracking comprehension sessions

· Reading books are sent home matched to their reading ability

· Children enjoying stories read to them by adults.


Key stage 2 (KS2):  The children in key stage 2 continue reading in a similar way to key stage 1. In key stage 2 children should be able to read books written at an age-appropriate interest level. They should be able to read them accurately and at a speed that is sufficient for them to focus on understanding what they read rather than on decoding individual words. There are specific requirements for pupils to discuss what they are learning and to develop their wider skills in spoken language form part of this programme of study. In years 3 and 4, pupils should become more familiar with and confident in using language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes, including through drama, formal presentations and debate. (adapted from the National Curriculum 2014)

Top tips for reading with your child at home

Levelled guided reading question mats