Reading and Phonics at Grasmere




Phonics teaching at Grasmere is effective and ensures children of all abilities make good progress from their starting points.  Phonics is taught daily through the DFE approved Letters and Sounds programme.  The teaching of Phase 1 phonics begins in our 2 year old provision and continues into Nursery.  At this stage the focus is on developing Phase 1 skills such as auditory discrimination and helping children to isolate specific sounds in the environment.  A range of games and speaking and listening opportunities are used to develop skills.  By the end of Nursery we aim for children to be secure in Phase 1 phonics so they are ready for the next part of their phonics journey in Reception.

The teaching of reading using Letters and Sounds continues through Reception and Key Stage 1.  During this time children will continue to learn sounds and their corresponding letter groups.  During a 30minute daily phonics session children will revisit and review previous sounds; be taught a new sound; practise this through reading, writing and spelling activities and finally begin to apply their skills. 

Through regular half termly assessments children are grouped to ensure learning best meets their needs and that learning has been consolidated. 

Support with phonics continues into Key Stage 2 where pupil need has identified this.  Phonics teaching will continue to help ensure children become confident at decoding and develop fluency.  Where children are secure in their phonics knowledge they begin to build on skills through the Read Write Inc spelling scheme. 



Please see the link below for our term by term progression of phonics skills.

Grasmere Academy phonics progression


If you would like to support your child at home with their phonics learning please click on the picture links below for phonics based games and information.

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The Oxford Owl website has some excellent information for parents. There are a couple of useful videos as well as a really helpful player that allows you to hear each letter sound. Click on the icon to visit the site.


Alphablocks site contains videos and resources to help your child with their letter sounds

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Top marks website has a range of phonics games your child can play at home

Developing early reading skills in EYFS and KS1

Early readers also need to develop some key comprehension skills in order for them to understand text.  As well as discrete phonics teaching, pupils will be engaged in regular story telling sessions using high quality text; discussions of text across the curriculum; shared and guided reading and continuous access to reading areas in school.  Our language rich curriculum helps to immerse pupils to support comprehension skills.  Alongside applying phonics to decodable words, there is a focus on common exception words. Regular teaching and assessment helps to embed knowledge of these words

Reading books to support learning
At Grasmere we select from a range of books spanning different reading schemes to ensure they match the sounds being taught within phonics lessons.  
To support phonics and decoding:
  • Phonics Bug
  • Songbirds
To support development of other reading skills:
  • Collins Big Cat
  • Oxford Reading Tree
  • PM
  • Tree Tops
  • Fire flies
  • Heinemann Rapid
Teachers will carefully select books to match the needs of pupils and where the child is on their reading journey.
Typically pupils will take home 2 books, one of which is decodable and matches the child's phonics ability to support the development of segmenting, blending and fluency.  The other book will promote a life long love of reading and is intended to be enjoyed with your child giving you both the opportunity to talk about a wide range of books.   All children read a minimum of at least once a week with an adult, with the majority being heard a minimum of twice a week.  
Please clink on the picture to see a link to the Open University Reading for Pleasure supporting reading at home resources.
Reading for pleasure
To foster a love of reading, we aim to celebrate reading regularly throughout the school day and through special events.  Some of the ways we encourage a love of reading are detailed below:  
We have a well stocked library showcasing a range of quality texts and authors which pupils access regularly.  
Our local library is on our doorstep and children also visit here regularly.  
We hold regular reading picnics which involve parents sharing books with their child.
We hold book votes sometimes these have a twist ! For example the books may be wrapped up and the children can only see the blurb or title.
24 hour reading challenge in which children capture all the incidental times they read during the day.
Book blankets, this is when we gather all the books from the classroom.  We chat about the books, discuss our favourites, recommend books to our friends, remove and swap books, look to see if we have a good variety, 
Art activities based around books we are reading in school. 
We have created Author/Illustrator walls of fame and even invited authors into school. 
Reading in KS2 
In Key Stage 2 children build on their reading skills through purposeful and planned reading activities.  These include
  • Shared and guided reading
  • Class novel time
  • Reading assemblies
  • Individual reading 
  • Paired reading
  • Visits to the Library
  • Reading Ambassadors
This range of activities teach key skills such as fluency, meaning breakdown and repair, text comparison, understanding language choice, inference and prediction. These strategies are taught using fiction, non fiction and poetry form a range of genre which develop understanding of language and literary heritage. 
Grasmere Academy Reading Spine 
We have created a whole school reading spine to expose children to books that are of a high quality, beautifully written and will stay with the child forever.  By the end of their time at Grasmere Academy the children will have experienced a huge variety of fiction, non fiction, poetry and other genres.  The spine reflects the diversity of our school community and represent the children within our school.  Please see the pdf below for our 2020 - 2021.  The reading spine will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure further diversity and representation.  
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Author Visits
Making recommendations
Exploring books through topic
National story telling week 2021.  We had lots of different teachers, children, parents and celebrities read us stories
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