Phonics and Early Reading

Phonics teaches children the sounds that letters make individually and when combined with other letters (e.g. ch, sh, ee). This knowledge is vital for learning to decode (segment or 'sound out') words to read. All schools in the Gipsy Hill Federation follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised phonics scheme. This is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) validated by the Department for Education. More information on the scheme can be found on their website.

Phonics Progression: Reception to Year 1

Phase 2 Sounds

Phase 3 Sounds


Support with Phonics and Reading at Home



Key Stage 1

2-3 story books taken home each week
  • Reading aloud to your child daily

  • Talk to them about the story: their favourite/least favourite parts; the characters; the setting; the sequence of events

  • Make links to other familiar books

  • Use puppets to retell the stories 

  • Visit the library to choose books together 

  • Use books to find out information

1-2 x decodable reading books weekly
1-2 x story book(s) weekly
  • As Nursery

  • Reading aloud to your child daily 

  • Talk to them about stories and information books 

  • Support children to read the decodable book. Be positive and reassuring. Use lots of praise for their efforts

  • Support with learning new phonics sounds – saying them aloud accurately, spotting them in books

  • Play Eye-Spy 

  • Sound Talk – can you get your c-oa-t? We’re going to the p-ar-k 

Children will transition from decodable reading books to book banded reading books once they are confident reading with digraphs.
  • As Reception

  • Support children to segment decodable words 

  • Support children to think about the context and which words would make sense in the story 

  • Allow children time to hear themselves read and correct themselves, as necessary 

  • Support children to recognise tricky words on sight and realise why they cannot be segmented 

  • Support with preparation for weekly spelling tests as appropriate 

Useful Websites

‘Reading floats on a sea of talk’
James Britton

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