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Phonics and Reading in Foundation (Reception)

We deliver a daily phonics session in synthetic phonics. We use the Letters and Sounds document for our pace and planning and we use Jolly Phonics resources for a multi-sensory approach to our teaching. 

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

There are six overlapping phases. In Foundation Stage (Reception) we work on phases one to four.


Phase One

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

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

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

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.


We regularly carry out individual phonics assessments to track progress and attainment.


We aim to work in partnership with parents and invite all parents to a phonics/reading meeting at the start of their Foundation year. In addition we send home phonics homework home each week to consolidate the learning from each week’s sessions.


Reading in Foundation Stage (Reception)


We work towards developing children’s reading and love of books. We share a range of quality texts together during story times and shared reading. We hear the children read each week starting with and individual read and moving onto a group guided read as they progress and grow in confidence (Dandelion, Rigby Star, Songbirds).  We have guided reading books that are arranged into levelled bookbands.  We plan their reading session in line with their current phonics phase. Children make progress at different rates and they will progress through the levels at different speeds. Most children transfer into Year One on red, yellow or blue bookband books.


Band - Lilac  Phonic phase 1

Band - Pink  Phonic phase 2

Band - Red  Phonic Phase 3

Band - Yellow  Phonic Phase 3/4

Band - Blue Phonic Phase 4/5


The children also visit the school library once a week, together with the reading morning for parents on Fridays when the children select a book to take home.