Parish Church of England Primary School


Phonics - Early Reading

At Parish, we recognise the value of adults (both in school and at home) reading aloud to children, in order to improve their grasp of story language, enthuse them with a love of books and inspire them as writers. 


Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching reading and writing in which words are broken up into their smallest units of sound or ‘phonemes’. Children learn to link a written letter or group of letters, known as ‘graphemes’, with each phoneme. Sounds are then built up or ‘blended’ together into words for reading or, conversely, whole words are broken down or ‘segmented’ into their constituent sounds for writing.  There are 44 phonemes in the English language. These include the 26 letters of the alphabet plus consonant sounds such as /sh/ and /ng/ and long vowel sounds such as /ee/ and /igh/. 

In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and across Key Stage 1 (KS1) we teach systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) through the Twinkl Programme. Twinkl Phonics is a DfE validated full systematic, synthetic phonics programme that teaches children from the very beginning of learning to read and write to full fluency. The Twinkl Phonics scheme provides a variety of support scaffolds to aid children’s learning of the first 44 GPCs, including stories, mnemonics (pictures that create a visual link to the GPC), actions, letter formation rhymes and songs. Making many links through visual, auditory and kinaesthetic stimuli helps children to access and secure this learning.  Each phoneme is introduced systematically and at a fast pace. When learning the first 44 phonemes, children will be introduced to around four new sounds per week, revisiting and practising taught phonemes daily to ensure secure understanding and rapid recall. Tricky words are introduced in accordance with the planning sequence.  Additional support in small groups or individually is given to those who need it.


At Parish, we know that English is important for all children from EYFS right through to the end of Year 6. We aim to develop readers who read for pleasure as well as for learning, and inspire writers who love language as much as their teachers. 

From EYFS to Year 6, children read with an adult regularly.  The focus of these sessions may include: 

  • decoding skills;  

  • fluency and expression; 

  • understanding and correcting inaccuracies;  

  • comparing, contrasting and commenting on texts;  

  • looking at words in context and discussing authorial choice;  

  • inference and prediction.  

All children are encouraged to develop a love of reading through a range of genres and authors both in school and at home. In order for children to develop their fluency and comprehension skills, we actively encourage families to read at home daily.  In EYFS and KS1, children take home reading scheme books (Bug Club and Twinkl) linked to their phonic learning. These schemes provide the children with a range of engaging texts, both fiction and non-fiction. Through Year 2 and into Key Stage 2, children are encouraged to progress to a ‘free reader’ status, meaning they are able to read any book that takes their interest. As a school we subscribe to Active Learn Bug Club which provides each child with online access to a range of books appropriate for their level. Additionally, we have a large library to support and develop a love of reading as well as class reading areas. 

Each child has a reading record that teachers and parents can use to share information about a child’s reading progress. As children progress through the school, they become more independent in recording what they have read in their reading records. We welcome volunteers in school to read with children. 

Our Virtual Library

Visit our virtual library by clicking here.

When clicking on the virtual library you will land on the home page where you will find:

  • Three open books.  These take you to reading lists with a selection of books for different phases.  We have tried to include different genres and abilities in each list, but they do overlap so don’t feel confined to just one.
  • Three shopping baskets.  These takes you to the same book lists but as Amazon wish lists.  Book week in school allows children and members of the school community to purchase books via the Roving Bookshop and in doing so the school receives commission to buy new books.  It would be great if children could still use World Book Week as the chance to celebrate their love of reading with a new book.  If you feel able to also purchase and donate a book to the school, we would be incredibly grateful. If you are using Amazon please use and select the PTA of Parish C of E primary School as your chosen charity. Thank you
  • The numbers 1 and 2.  Clicking on these takes you to extracts from various books chosen to be read to you by different members of staff. We hope you enjoy them!