Phonics and Reading

At Oaktree Nursery and Primary School, early reading is taught using phonics as the main approach to reading. We follow the Read Write Inc. scheme which sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills. This starts in the Early Years and we aim for children to be fluent readers by the end of Year 2.


Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds all through the word for reading, and how to segment the sounds in order to write words. They are taught to use their phonic skills and knowledge as their first approach to reading.


Throughout Reception and Key Stage 1, phonics is taught in ability groups of various sizes so that the teaching is closely matched to the needs of all children.


In Nursery, we play lots of games to develop children's speaking and listening skills which lay the foundation for the phonics work they progress to in Reception.  The emphasis of these games is to get children attuned to the sounds around them so they are ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. We do this by doing lots of 'Fred Talk' games, whereby we use a Fred the Frog toy who speaks in single letter sounds e.g. touch your l/e/g.  Towards the end of Nursery we start to look at letter sounds and follow the Read Write Inc. Nursery Handbook.


There are 44 phonemes (sounds) in the English alphabetic code, but only 26 single letters. Children first learn one way to read these sounds, then learn to read the same sounds but with alternative graphemes (the written symbol which represents the sound).


In Read Write Inc., phonic books are closely matched to their phonic knowledge and ‘tricky’ words (those words which cannot be sounded out). As children re-read stories their fluency increases.


Reading at Oaktree

We use the Read Write Inc. books to support the early development of reading. All the reading books are matched the child's correct reading ability so reading can be practised at home with confidence. Parents are asked to read these with their children and to sign their home/school reading diary. 


In Key Stage 1, book marks are sent home with suggestions as to how parents can support their children with reading, through questioning.


Those children who are not making expected progress in reading, or who are finding it difficult to maintain progress, are given extra support through targeted interventions and the Read Write Inc. 1:1 Fast Track Tutoring scheme.


We encourage pupils to develop a love of reading. All classrooms have attractive reading areas with a range of quality texts. Children in Key Stage 1 also have access to a shared reading area. Teachers read stories for enjoyment and we regularly encourage interest in reading through book topics and whole school book events. 


Books that come home with your children:

In Acorns and Nursery, children visit their library to select a book(s) of their choice to share with you at home.  


In Reception and Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2), children take home a sharing book of their choice for you to read to them, as well as two Read Write Inc. books correctly matched to their reading stage, these are for your child to read to you.  These books are changed weekly. 


In Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4) children are sent home with a book bag book related to their phonics stage, plus a Read Write Inc. phonics book every week.  They can also choose a book from the book corner to take home.   Those children no longer following the Read Write Inc. Phonics scheme will be sent home with a 'free reader' book.  These are books that are from the Read Write Inc. scheme for fluent readers, plus they can select a book from the book corner which can be changed when they like.  


In Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 & 6) children are sent home with a book of their choice which they can change when they have finished it, at least weekly.  Those children who are following the Fresh Start phonics programme will be sent home with a book matched to their phonics stage.  This is for your child to read to you, and will be changed weekly.  


Our Favourite Class Books:

Each year group have created a list of 'key books' which they read.  Please click on the files below to see the key reads for your child's year group.  I'm sure they would love to talk to you about their favourite books. 

Class Dojo
Please use Class Dojo for up to date information on your child's phonic targets.  Links to videos for you to watch at home to support your child's learning will be posted as well as any other relevant material  We will also be posting information on eBooks assigned to your child and quizzes they will be set as homework linked to these books. 
Please click on the links below to watch videos which you may find helpful
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Read Write Inc. Phonics Teaching Progression
Please find below the Read Write Inc. teaching progression.  If children are progressing at the expected levels, then they will be learning the following at the specified times of the year. 
The colours relate to the colour phonics books they will be reading.  The second document tells you what the colours mean in relation to what your child can do and what their targets are. 
The expectation is that they will be off the Read Write Inc. phonics scheme by the summer term of Year 2. 
Please also find Parent Information Booklets 1 & 2.  These give you more information on the sounds we teach and the order they are taught in.  If you attended the Reception parent meeting on the Introduction to Read Write Inc. Phonics at the beginning of the year then you would have been given these.  If you were unable to attend and would like a paper copy, please let your class teacher or Mrs Duffey, our Early Phonics and Read Write Inc. Reading Lead, know. 
Handwriting Phrases
In Read Write Inc. each letter has a phrase to help children form their letters correctly.  Please see the 'Handwriting Phrases' document so as you can support your child at home with this. 
Reading to your child is really important, even when they are fluent readers.  Please watch the following videos which explains why it is so important and also ten things for you to think about when reading with your child.
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Oaktree Reading Provision Map
We have been busy thinking about all the things we do at our school to help our children become confident and fluent readers.  Please see our Reading Provision Map which lays out how we teach reading in each of our year groups.  
Useful Websites:
Discover expert advice, educational resources and free eBooks to support children's learning at primary school and at home, from Oxford University Press.
Click on this link to log into your child's eBook library - details of their log ins will be in their reading diary.  If you would like to be reminded of them please let a member of staff know and we will send a new login card home. 
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
Academic Year  Date of Phonics Screening Test
2022-2023 Week Commencing Monday 12th June 2023
2023-2024 Week commencing Monday 10th June 2024
2024-2025 Week commencing Monday 9th June 2025
Please see the video below for information on the Year 1 Phonics Screening check. 
If you  missed our Parent Meeting about this on the 25th March 2023, please see your child's class teacher, or myself, Mrs Duffey, for more information.  

For further information on Phonics and the Year One Screening Check, please click on the link below to view the Dept. of Education Parent Information Leaflet:

Dept of Education - Learning to Read Through Phonics

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