Phonics and Early Reading


At Upton St Leonards C of E Primary school, reading is one of our main priorities. The Headteacher priorotises reading, staff foster a love of reading and reading and phonic CPD is prioritised with the aim of all staff being experts in early reading.

We believe high quality, systematic teaching of phonics is the key to the development of reading and writing.

We use the Department of Education ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme to provide exciting and engaging ways to learn through actions, images, rhymes, stories and games. We follow LCP planning which is based on ‘Letters and Sounds’ in the EYFS and KS1, ensuring content and sequence of our phonics programme supports pupil progress.  Delivery involves kinaestetic practice e.g. putting actions to sounds. We believe this provides a wide range of learning opportunities to engage all children.

Phonic sounds are taught in short focused, fast paced sessions from the start of Reception to Year 2 and we ensure there are opportunities across the curriculum to embed the skills taught. The phonic sounds are taught alongside the first 100 and 200 High frequency words. 

We are currently working to review the books in our school to ensure that all reading books match the sounds that children know.

In Reception the children learn the 44 main sounds heard in the English language as well as learning tricky words. They use these sounds to read and write simple words and sentences. 

In Year 1 the children revisit the 44 main sounds and learn different ways to spell these. The children also continue to learn many more tricky words and develop a more adventurous vocabulary. At the end of Year 1 all children are screened using the national phonics screening check. 

Year 2 consists mainly of learning to spell and read more complex words and write extended sentences. 

Pupils who fall behind are supported to catch up quickly. Where possible, intervention is immediate. In KS1 and KS2 we use intervention programmes such as Precision Teaching, 'Bear Necessities', ‘Dancing Bears’ and Rapid Phonics, which continues to develop the children’s spelling and phonic skills if needed.

We also use the Year Group Spelling Lists provided in the National Curriculum.  Pupils are encouraged to continually apply their phonic knowledge in their writing across all subjects. 

Further information about how to support phonics learning can be found at: 

Below is a link to a document that will explain how to support your child’s learning: 

Letters and Sounds Parental Booklet

We believe that reading is a vital life skill, one that is high on our list of priorities at Upton St Leonards C of E Primary School.  In our school we passionately believe that ‘Every Child Will Be A Reader’ and we make this happen with excellent early phonics teaching, using a wide range of graded home / school reading books, children reading to adults in school and with fantastic book corners full of brilliant texts and a fantastic library that stimulate young minds and nurture a real love of reading! Our children leave Key Stage 1 with results that are above National Average and an ability to read confidently and evaluate what they have read. 

Click on the following link to read our Reading & Phonics Policy
School Vision

Building foundations for a love of life, a love of learning and a love of one another