Phonics and Reading


At Saint Michael’s we place a great emphasis on the importance of reading and we want all children to develop a love of books.

The Teaching of Reading

To teach reading and comprehension we use a range of reading schemes and free readers. Each class also has its own book area with a range of books which children can access.

We teach reading through the use of daily-guided reading sessions. The children take part in reading or key skill activities. Sessions focus on the different aspects of reading, such as focusing upon decoding strategies, comprehension or features of a particular text. Children who are not reading with their teacher are engaged in other activities, such as reading with other adults or taking part in independent learning activities focused upon key aspects of literacy.

We use a variety of reading schemes, including Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star, Rigby Navigator and Project X. Pupils also have access to an extensive choice of fiction and non-fiction books from our school library.

School Library

In addition, we have a Key Stage 1 and a Key Stage 2 school library which classes visit on a regular basis. Children are able to select a book of their choice from a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction texts to take home to read.

We also have a number of volunteer readers from the local community who read with the children. A team of volunteers run our school library and help the children with their book selections, helping promote a love of reading and share enjoyment of books.

Our ‘big book’ deliveries take place once a fortnight, where 3 big books on a wide range of topics are delivered to the classroom to be use by the children during guided reading and at other times within the day.



Phonics is a systematic approach to learning to read, write and spell. . In Foundation Stage and Key Stage One phonics is taught to the whole class, children who require additional support or who are more able have additional phonics sessions during the school week to help ensure they make good progress. It usually has four parts to the lesson: Revisit and Review, Teach, Practise and Apply. We use Jolly Phonics and Letters and Sounds to teach phonics to our children. The letters and sounds program is split into six phases, detailed below:

Phase One

The aim of this Phase is to foster speaking and listening skills as preparation for learning to read with phonics. Parents can play a vital role in helping their children develop these skills, by encouraging their children to listen carefully and talk extensively about what they hear, see and do.

Phases Two –

Phase Two is when systematic phonic work begins. During Phases Two to Four, children learn a number of things:

  • How to represent sounds by a letter or sequence of letters
  • How to blend sounds together for reading and segment words for spelling
  • How to read and spell some high frequency ‘tricky’ words

Phase Five

Children learn new ways of representing the sounds and practise blending for reading and segmenting for spelling.

Children in Year 1 take the National Phonics Screening Check during the summer term.

Phase Six

Children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.


In Key Stage Two spelling is taught consistently across the key stage and any children who require further phonics support are also identified and taught in small group sessions.