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Phonics and Reading


The person in charge of Early Reading and Phonics  is Miss Roe.

At Grange Primary Academy, we follow the systematic scheme Sounds-Write to teach phonics. Phonics is a method of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify, and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language. We chose Sounds-Write because of its rigorous approach. It is a highly regarded linguistics programme that begins with sounds in the language and moves from sounds to the written word. It also adheres to DFE and OFSTED guidance that states:

"Schools should be determined that every pupil will learn to read, prioritising reading as a foundation for future learning, and enabling children to access the rest of the curriculum and avoid falling behind. A sequential approach to the reading curriculum is expected; the sequence of reading books should demonstrate a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge, matched closely to your school’s phonics programme, followed by ongoing reading progress throughout KS2." Children, in their daily phonics sessions, are taught conceptual knowledge and skills that enable them to say the sounds and read the words. The programme begins by teaching an ‘Initial Code’ in Reception. The Extended Code lasts throughout Year 1 and Year 2, and the skills they learn will continue to be applied in their reading and spelling well beyond this time. Throughout the programme, close links are made between reading and spelling. The Sounds-Write programme teaches the children to understand the way the alphabet (referred to as ‘code’) works. Because of the complex system of the alphabet code in the English language, often, in the early stages of learning to read and spell, pupils will not be able to spell some sounds using the correct spellings. However, pupils taught using Sounds-Write are more likely to be able to write almost anything they want using plausible (phonetic) spellings for sounds. As they progress through Key Stage 1, pupils learn systematically how words are spelled in English. The ability to express themselves in writing from the start of school gives children enormous confidence, which naturally feeds back into the other learning taking place within the school curriculum. Sounds-Write teaches children that:

  • Letters are symbols (spellings) that represent sounds.
  • Each sound may be represented (spelled) by a 1, 2, 3 or 4-letter spelling.
  • The same sound can be spelled in more than one way (goat, slow, note, toe, over).
  • Many spellings represent more than one sound (ea in read and bread).


The following skills are taught throughout the Sounds-Write program:

  • Blending – the ability to push sounds together to build words (c-a-t = cat).
  • Segmenting – the ability to pull apart the individual sounds in words (pig = p-i-g).
  • Phoneme manipulation – the ability to insert sounds into words and delete sounds out of words. This skill is necessary to test out alternatives for spellings that represent more than one sound.


It is important to note that speed and accuracy need to be achieved for all three of the above skills for them to become automatic. There is a short 20-minute, online course that parents can complete that is aimed specifically at parents and carers and will further your understanding of the Sounds-Write program and teaching. You can find the course by going to: https://www.udemy.com/help-your-child-to-read-and-write/


Phonics Screening

At the end of Year 1, all children undertake the Year 1 Phonics Screening. Working 1:1 with their teacher, children will read 40 words, some of which are real and some of which are made up/'alien' words containing the 40+ phonemes they have learned during their first two years in school. The pass mark is usually around 32 and children who do not reach this standard will receive extra phonics support in Year 2 (and into KS2 where necessary) and resit the screening.

This video demonstrates how to say the phonic sounds of English correctly:


Reading books

Children from EYFS to Year 2 will take home a variety of reading books to share at home including:

  • A wordless book for some EYFS children - This book will continue to develop confidence and a love of reading as well as support children’s comprehension of what they are seeing in the context of a book.
  • A phonic book matched to the phonic code that they have previously been taught in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2.
  • A book from our accelerated reader library for many of our Year 2 children. This will be a book that the children can read independently using their segmenting and blending skills, and enables them to develop their comprehension. These books will be at the right level for each child as they will be given out based on their star test outcomes (for further information, please see our guide to Accelerated Reader below).
  • A reading for pleasure choice for the children to enjoy sharing with you.


Useful resources to support reading and phonics at home















A Parents Guide To Sounds Write

Sounds Write Information for Reception Parents

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check - A Guide For Parents



At Grange Primary Academy we follow the Kinetic Letters Handwriting Scheme.


It is based on ensuring the children have the strength in their bodies, arms, wrists, hands and fingers to prepare them for the skill of handwriting. 

The underlying principles of Kinetic Letters

  • Building physical strength underpins handwriting, as poor writing may be due to poor strength.
  • Children are not expected to do anything before they are developmentally ready for it.
  • The different components of writing are mastered individually before being used in combination.
  • Letters are learnt as movements not as visual shapes and movement remains central to developing flow and accuracy.
  • When handwriting is automatic, the brain can concentrate on content.
  • Reading and writing are a reciprocal process and so strengthening handwriting skills will support reading and writing development as a whole.

As part of this we have been doing lots of activities that will make our bodies stronger for writing. You could try some of these activities at home as well!

  • We do some of our writing lying on our tummies, resting on our elbows with our legs out straight; we call this our strong body position. We also do our writing with the whiteboards stuck onto the wall as this builds strength in our core, which helps to support a comfortable and strong writing position at the tables.
  • We like to do lots of climbing on apparatus to make our shoulders strong. You could do this by going on the monkey bars at the park. We are also becoming experts at the ‘plank’ position and chair push ups.
  • To make our ‘three friends’ (thumb and first two fingers on our writing hand) really strong we have been doing lots of pinching and squeezing activities using rubber bands, pegs, play dough, foam shapes and tweezers and threading activities.

Once the children learn to form the letters, they hear stories about Brave Monkey and Scared Monkey who help them to know where to start their letters. We use special whiteboards to give the children a prompt to remember this.


Ask your child about Brave and Scared Monkey to find out more!



At Grange Primary Academy we use the Sounds Write Spelling programe to help our children learn and develop their spelling skills.  The programe ensures consistency from KS1 in to KS2, using the Sounds Write way that are children are already familiar with.



The person in charge of Reading at Grange Primary Academy is Mrs Haynes.

The teaching of reading focuses on developing the children’s competence in both word reading and comprehension. During reading lessons, teachers model fluent reading, using high quality texts to engage the children. While exposing the children to a wide range of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, they teach the skills needed to support comprehension: prediction, questioning, clarifying, summarising, thinking aloud, identifying the text structure and visualising.

Encouraging the children to read across a range of genres allows them to establish an appreciation and love of reading, as well as gaining knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often, increases the children’s vocabulary, as they encounter new words that they may not hear, or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds their imagination, inspiring them as writers.

We actively encourage all children to read at home for pleasure every night. We aim to instil a lifelong love of reading through weekly library lessons and offer access to our wonderful and inspiring Imagination Hub every day. The children can choose books from our library which they can take home to enjoy reading independently, or to share with others.

Most children in years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, will be participating in the Accelerated Reader™ (AR) programme from Renaissance Learning, and will have a reading book linked to their AR stage. Please see the guide below for further information about Accelerated Reader.

Parents Guide to Accelerated Reader





We even have our own Reading Dog who visits the school to encourage our children to read confidently.



                                                                                                           Elsie - PAT dog

SEND Provision in Reading at Grange Primary Academy (please click for link to document)

Reading Expectations (please click for link to document)

English National Curriculum  (please click for link to document)

EYFS Reading Curriculum (please click for link to document)

Further information on an easy way of helping your child with their reading can be found using the link below.

Turn On The Subtitles


Home - Turn On The Subtitles  Let's use subtitles to improve children's literacy rate' with Henry Warren  from 'Turn on the Subtitles' - Hear Me Out! [CC]

School Games Award Modeshift Stars 2020 Roade English Hubs TaMHS Ab Mauri EEF Forest School Greggs Healthy Schools Kinetic Letters KSSP Maths Hub Princes Trust SW The Association for Science Education Northamptonshire Music Education Hub PSQM 2023 PSQM 2019 AR Arbor Kagan Kagan CJs Kapow Eco School Eco School Music Mark

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