Our intention is to enable all children to ‘love reading’.

Implementation and how we assess impact.

At CMPS we teach reading within and through Letters and Sounds phonics, Pie Corbett’s Reading Spine, Reading Vipers, Guided Reading, Talk 4 Writing and our own talk expectations. We take an inferential and research based approach to reading across the school and provide (through talk, text and surroundings) a language rich environment. The use of phonics is encouraged through our spelling process ‘Decision Spelling’ and so continues as a reading strategy throughout the school. The teachers in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 link as much of the curriculum as possible to the children’s phonic knowledge and development. In Y1 we hope that up to 80% of the content discussed will be able to be linked in some way to the children’s phonic learning - either directly or through our ‘spinning plates’ approach to reviewing past learning.


Our choice of reading material from Pie Corbett’s reading spine along with our immersion in text through Talk for Writing ensures that reading is central to our teaching across the curriculum. The Talk for Writing approach bridges the gap between reading and writing and allows the children to examine texts as an author, editor and a consumer. The Reading Spine books are the cornerstone of our Class Reading books - The teacher will read to the class every day and use our ‘Love Reading’ communication books to set enjoyable tasks linked to the reading in class. Of course, reading is more than just phonics! We have identified a need to send high quality picture books home with children’s reading book in Reception and Year 1. The immersion of the child in high quality reading material is essential and gives the child a choice in their reading material. Throughout the year the Infant staff work with parents to develop their understanding of reading and ways to support their child.


Our curriculum promotes performance as a key skill in our children’s development. The expectation that children will communicate in front of an audience gives purpose and meaning to reading and offers the children the opportunity to experience real reciprocity. 


The teaching of phonics is systematic. All children* are expected to be able to access and understand how to decode, blend and Segment and above all develop fluency in reading beyond instructional reading.


To develop fluency and encourage reading the sounds and blends that the children learn are separated into piles. Pile 1 is for new sounds - these will have sound buttons and the children will be taught how to say / read them. Pile 2 is for words that the children have seen before. They get a few seconds to think about these sounds / words before the teacher asks for the sound. Pile three is for sounds and words the children know (or should know) they are read quickly. Because they can be read fluently. This system creates the expectation of reading rather than an over emphasis on the blend and segment skills.


The children’s learning in phonics is carefully set out in the Letters and Sounds planning documents that can be accessed below.

The development through phonics is separated into phases as the table below shows:



Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One (Nursery/Reception)     Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.
Phase Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.
Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
Phase Five (Throughout Year 1) Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond) Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.


The timings are dependent on the children’s additional needs and development - but we aim to be as consistent as possible. This ensures we have the right amount of pace and coverage essential in sustaining learning development.


As far as possible early reading is supported individually, although we do not have the resources to hear all children read individually. The teachers will assess which children need additional help to catch up and ask the parents to work with them at home.  Children take reading books home and parents are given guidance on good strategies to use when reading with their children. 


In order to make the teaching of reading manageable across the school we read in groups. The groups will be of a similar ability to allow for good discussion about the text. To ensure good progression and development we use the VIPERS framework. VIPERS stands for vocabulary, infer, predict, explain, retrieve and summarise - these are the key skills for successful reading.


As the children progress through the school we assess their reading performance. Every day when the teacher works with the class or a group they note the level a child is accessing the work they set. This is assessment for learning. If a child is not making the progress a teacher would expect they will try and intervene through differentiated questioning and provision during quality first teaching. If the child begins to fall behind the teacher will work with them, probably in a group, to meet their ‘need’. As phonics is synthetic we expect all* children to make the appropriate progress and pass the phonic check in Year 1. Moving into Year 2, using disadvantage funding, we offer a reading catchup programme we call FFT. This is a TA led intervention by a practitioner who has been trained by a Reading Recovery Teacher. A good number of our TAs have been trained in FFT reading intervention and are able to support the teacher in class through small groups or individually.


In order that all children understand their teacher we have a school wide system for ensuring continuity in the delivery of phonics in the naming, sounding,  blending and segmenting phases. This is linked into our early instruction of handwriting , where the teacher is expected to provide writing and practise reading opportunities in line with the learning in phonics. 


In the future we are working on developing the children’s exposure to ‘texts they know by heart’, the practice of fluency development and complete integration of Decision Spelling with phonics. We are also working on securing a wider base of phonically decodable reading books. 


Note: The * is used to show that while we have expectations that all children could make the appropriate learning development SEND sometimes means that this expectation is not possible. Children with such challenges will be on our SEND register and have an appropriate learning target.



http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/ for parents and teachers

http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/ for parents and teachers

Phonics Pack information
Phonics phase 1 to 6 infor for parents
Phonics phase 2 to 6 overview