Phonics and Reading

Phonics Intent

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”      

Margaret Fuller


At Black Horse Infant School we use the Little Wandle accredited phonics scheme starting from Foundation 1 (nursery). Phonics is taught on a daily basis. Our systematic approach to teaching phonics means we take a planned, thorough approach, teaching children the simplest phonemes (sounds) first and progressing all the way through to the most complex combinations of letters. Consequently, almost all children quickly become confident and independent readers. They soon move away from the mechanics of identifying and blending letter sounds (or ‘decoding’ words) and start reading fluently and skilfully, even when they come across words they have never heard or seen before. They can also use this knowledge to begin to spell new words they hear. 

Reading Intent

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island.” Walt Disney   

 “A child who reads will be an adult who thinks.”  Sacha Salmina


Reading is at the heart of our ambitious curriculum. If children do not learn to read, they cannot read to learn. Therefore, reading really can change lives.

Great importance is placed on promoting and instilling in children a deep love of literature. We aspire for our children to be confident, independent readers, in the best place possible for their continued learning at our Junior School. Across the curriculum, children are exposed to high quality texts, and reading skills are taught explicitly in all year groups. Story and rhyme times are prioritised across the school so we can develop a deep love of reading, expose children to new vocabulary and broaden our children's knowledge.  Moreover, reading for pleasure is a cornerstone of our approach, with themed class libraries in every room.




'Reading is fundamental to education. Proficiency in reading, writing and spoken language is vital for pupils’ success. Through these, they develop communication skills for education and for working with others: in school, in training and at work. Pupils who find it difficult to learn to read are likely to struggle across the curriculum, since English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching. This is why the government is committed to continuing to raise standards of literacy for all.'


The reading framework Teaching the foundations of literacy July 2021


The Reading Model at BHHIS


Your child will read the same phonetically decodable book in school from our reading scheme in school at least three times per week with an adult. The children read in groups, led by a trained adult. Each day has a specific focus. 


Daily Focus -

Day 1 – Decoding and Prediction

Day 2- Fluency and Prosody

Day 3 – Comprehension

 (Children in Foundation 2 and Year 1 have reading four times a week)


Within each session there is a specific structure that all staff follow throughout the school.



Focus 1: Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence

Focus 2: Use flash cards to read tricky and fully decodable words.

Focus 3: Teach the children to read the tricky words in the text

Focus 4: The trained adult with the group models the skill that we are practising.


The phonetically decodable  book will be allocated to your child on a Thursday after the book has been read in school.


Children who are not making expected progress in their reading take part in "Keep Up" sessions with adults in school.




Home Reading 

Your child will bring home two books. One is for your child to read to you. It has been carefully chosen to match the phonic phase that your child is working on so children should be able to read the words. We strongly  encourage parents/carers to practise reading for five/ten minutes each evening to develop fluency. The other book has words that your child may not be able to read yet. It is for you to read to your child and to talk about together.


Phonetically Decodable Books ( Collins Big Cat)


These are your child’s focused reading books linked to the

sessions we deliver in school.

  •  Do not read the book aloud before your child reads it to you.
  •  Ask your child to read the phonemes (sounds) and words inside the front cover before he or she reads the book.
  •  When your child reads the book, ask him or her to segment and blend out the words that he or she cannot read automatically.
  •  Don’t allow your child to struggle too much. Praise your child when he or she succeeds or for their effort.
  •  Do not ask your child to guess the word by using the pictures.
  •  Do it all with patience and love!


Reading for pleasure book 

These are an additional book that your child chooses from a selection within the classroom to share at home. These books can be changed as often as your child wishes.

  •  Read the book to your child or read parts together.
  •  Your child may be able to recognise tricky words in the book and be able to segment and blend (sounds out) out some words.
  •  Talk about the story together and consider the key characters/event/information
  •  Do not ask your child to read these books independently.