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And now we have these three: faith and hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.’ 1 Corinthians 13:13

Enabling children to flourish and succeed

Early Reading and Phonics

At Belgrave St. Peter's Primary School we  believe that reading and the love of reading lays the firm foundation for every child’s future. It is a crucial area which will allow children to access all areas of the curriculum successfully. We believe that enjoyment and success in reading opens doors to a world of knowledge.


Through singing, stories, rhymes and imagination we open up a world of new vocabulary and language. Weekly Word Aware sessions also help children to understand and apply new vobabulary and concepts.   Early matching, categorising, describing and sorting activities within the Nursery environment are used to develop many skills needed for early reading.  We use Letters and Sounds Phase 1 planning to help us to achieve this.

Books are shared with the children daily and children are encouraged to look at and talk about story and information books in their play by finding books in all areas of the classroom.

We have weekly 'Stay and Read' sessions where parents come to class to share books with the children and can also borrow books  to share at home with their families.


As children progress into Reception, a love of books continues to be a huge focus.  Daily phonics teaching supports children’s understanding that letters represent sounds in spoken words which will support their reading. 

In Reception we use the phonics aspect of Ruth Miskin Read, Write Inc.   We start by teaching children to read the first thirty sounds (Set 1 Sounds) and to be able to blend these sounds to read words (i.e. to know that the sounds c/a/t can blend together to read the word cat). Once they have conquered this skill, they start reading stories and texts that have words made up of the sounds they know. This means that they can embed and apply their phonic knowledge and start to build their reading fluency. At the same time, we teach them how to write the sounds and use this knowledge to spell words, leading to writing short sentences.

 As their confidence and fluency grows, we start to introduce more sounds (Set 2) and the children read texts with increasingly more complex sounds and graphemes (different ways of spelling the sounds, e.g. /igh/, /ie/ or /ay/, /ai/). They learn that a sound can be written using 2 or 3 or even 4 letters. We call this a grapheme (e.g. igh represent the /i/ sound in the word night). Equally they learn to use these graphemes to spell words.

A love of books is developed by sharing songs, stories and rhymes, providing lots of opportunities to talk and re-enact stories or follow children’s interests through  books. Books are shared with the children daily and children are motivated to look at and talk about story and information books in their child play by finding books in all areas of the classroom.

Each child will take home two reading books every week, one is for sharing with their families over and over and will be chosen at our 'Stay and Read' parent/child weekly session.  The other is a phonic book that the child should attempt to read independently. 

How can you support your child at home?

There is much you can do to support your child at home.

  • Talk to them! The most important thing you can do is to talk to your child and listen to them when they are talking to you. Try to extend their vocabulary range and their skill at talking in increasingly more complex sentences. For example, try to teach them alternative words for ideas, or nouns they already know.
  • Read to them and always discuss the story you are reading to try to build your child’s comprehension skills and understanding.
  • Practice the sounds they know at home. There are flashcards available to buy - we will talk .
  • Listen to your child read every night. Find a quiet time to hear your child read and use lots and lots of praise to encourage them.

Look out for our Reading Workshops for parents and carers, where you can find out more details of how to help at home.

In Reception your child will be given a sound book. Children find it easier to learn to read and spell if they are taught pure sounds. You might like to watch this Youtube video to make sure you are using the correct pure sounds with your child at home:

How to say the pure sounds

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