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Reading and Phonics

Reading intent


At Moorland Primary School it is our intent that by the end of their primary education all pupils are able to read fluently with confidence, understanding and passion.  We prioritise the teaching of reading and we aim to develop life-long, positive attitudes towards reading. We strive for a well- planned, progressive reading curriculum that supports and develops our rigorous teaching of phonics (Letter and Sounds) and provides opportunities for our pupils to develop a love of reading while experiencing high quality texts alongside our reading scheme. 

Miss Norfolk ran a reading workshop for parents pre-Covid. 

Click on the image to see the slides from that workshop. 


What is phonics?


Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write.  It helps children to hear, identify and use different sounds. Written language is like a code, knowing the sounds of individual letters and how those letters sound when they’re combined will help children to decode words as they read. Understanding phonics will also help children know which letters to use when they are writing words. Phonics involves matching the sounds of spoken English with individual or groups of letters.  For example, the sound ‘k’ can be spelled as c, k, ck or ch.


How is phonics taught?


At Moorland Primary School the Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics (2007) is used to plan and deliver the required pace and progression for phonics teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.

It is expected that all teachers in EYFS and KS1 use this programme and have the subject skills and knowledge to teach phonics.

Letters and Sounds is a synthetic phonics programme and is taught as the first (and fastest) step to decoding and encoding for most children. Synthetic phonics is mainly about learning to synthesise (blend) the graphemes (letter or letters) in the order in which they occur to pronounce a word; segment speech sounds (phonemes) in order in a word and select graphemes to represent them to spell the word.

Phonics teaching at Moorland:

  • Is taught explicitly through daily phonics sessions
  • Has high expectations for all children’s attainment
  • Is taught using Letters and Sounds


In EYFS, 20 minute daily discrete phonics teaching is a key vehicle to teach the required skills and knowledge.  Independent reading is in place from September to consolidate and apply learning from the discrete session.  Guided/whole class reading begins in the Spring term to consolidate and apply phonic skills taught.


Pupils in Key Stage 1 are set according to the phase they are working within.  These groups are assessed regularly (using Phonics Tracker) and pupils are progressed with an aim of meeting age-related expectations by the end of the year.


In Year Two, where the majority of pupils should be working at Phase 6, daily phonics sessions are planned and taught in differentiated groups as necessary.  Guided and independent reading is also in place to support the application of learning. Teachers will begin to encourage children to read words in syllable to speed up the process of decoding.



We use a variety of reading schemes at Moorland which are currently being reviewed to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of our pupils.  These include Phonics bug, Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Big Cat.  In response to the current climate, we are very excited to have extended our reading scheme to include an online offer for all of our pupils. 

Saying the sounds precisely and clearly

Learn how to pronounce all 44 phonics sounds, or phonemes, used in the English language with these helpful examples from Suzy Ditchburn and her daughter.Find...

Phonics: How to blend sounds to read words | Oxford Owl

Suzy Ditchburn explains how letter sounds can be blended to read words, and gives tips on how to practise phonics with your child.Find more phonics help on O...

Look at your child's class page to find phonics games to play at home