Bulwell St Mary's Primary and Nursery SchoolWhere Your Journey Begins

English Reading and Phonics

English Reading and Phonics

At Bulwell St Mary’s School we aim to achieve the crucial skills of word recognition, that once mastered, enables children to read fluently and automatically.


We believe that by having high expectations, as well as a consistent and systematic approach to teaching reading skills, the children will develop secure and automatic decoding skills and progress from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’ for purpose and pleasure. We expect all our children to be fluent readers by the end of KS1.


Progression and Cohesion

We follow the Nottingham City Council Letters and Sounds programme. High quality phonics will be delivered to the whole class, each day for 20 minutes, using the revisit, teach, practise, apply model. The teacher will cater for the needs of every child and take account of the different learning styles and needs.


The whole school will teach Phonics/SPAG everyday. Most children will be taught at their age appropriate level, but where it is required, children can move to their ability appropriate group to extend or support where needed.


It is expected that:

Foundation Stage:

  • FS1 will introduce Phase 1 phonics through small focussed groups and activities.

  • FS2 will introduce and complete Phase 2, Phase 3 and in the final half term Phase 4.


Key stage 1:

  • Year 1 Will introduce and complete phase 5.

  • Year 2 Will revise phase 5 and teach phase 6.

At the end of year 1, children will take the statutory National Phonic Screening Test. If children are still working towards the phonic test by the end of year 1 then they will work in a small intervention group to enable them to retake the test in year 2 and if needed again at the end of the Autumn Term in Year 3 if appropriate, ready to present data at the Autumn Pupil Progress Meeting.



Key stage 2:

  • The children who are still working toward the Phonic Screening Test by the end of year 2 will be supported through specific intervention groups in year 3. The year 2 teachers will pass on this data during transition. The progress of these children will be monitored during the Autumn Pupil Progress Meeting. (See KS1)

  • Using the phonics style of ‘teach- practice-apply’ the spelling curriculum will be taught daily for 20 minutes.



Children are taught to read using a variety of genres of books, and when they become fluent readers they choose books from those available in each class. From Foundation all children follow the Letters and Sounds programme to support reading through phoneme/grapheme correspondence, this continues throughout Key Stage 1 and is delivered outside of the literacy hour. Children are encouraged to read books from home as well as different text types; fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics and magazines.


Shared reading is carried out daily. Guided and independent reading should take place outside the English hour and may be cross curricular. In KS1, guided reading may be carried out by the class teacher or TA and can be based on the reading targets for that group of children. Over the course of the year guided reading covers all the reading assessment foci. Children are encouraged to share books as well as to read quietly by themselves. All children have reading diaries which parents are encouraged to use at home. In addition, KS2 have a reading journal designed to enhance the reading experience and encourage interaction with the text.


Comprehension will be taught weekly and identified on planning to support reading comprehension assessments and target setting.


The library contains sets of guided reading books as well as a selection of reference books which can be independently accessed by the children. As a school we promote the use of ‘On Screen’ texts to support reading; in whole class sessions as well as independent tasks, across the whole curriculum.


Extra support is given to children via ‘Switch On’ where children work 1:1 with a member of staff. We are committed to creating a dyslexia friendly school with the use of different resources and training from ‘Dyslexia action’.


Homework should be used as a way to encourage reading by the setting of research tasks and extended homework.