Phonics and Reading


Phonics is the systematic teaching of the sounds, or 'phonemes', that accompany the written letters ('graphemes') in English. It is designed to teach children to become confident and fluent readers by the end of Year 2.

All children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 have a phonics session every day where they are introduced to new sounds and practise the sounds that they are familiar with.

We use the Read Write Inc scheme of work for early reading

Year 1 Phonics Screening

At the end of Year 1, children will undertake a statutory phonics screening check. This is a short assessment to make sure that children have learnt phonics to an appropriate standard.

There are 40 words in the screening check which children are asked to read on a one-to-one basis with their teacher. The check is made up of 'real words' (eg. 'mud') and 'non-words' (eg. 'splog') and children need to apply their phonic knowledge to read all words.

Preparation for the check takes place during the daily phonics session, but you can help your child at home by practising phonics on a regular basis. 

A love of reading

At Parkwood we work very hard to ensure that pupils develop a true love of reading. All of our classrooms have lovely reading corners, full of engaging texts aimed at children of every reading ability in the classroom. We follow the Hackney Loves Reading approach to the teaching of essential reading skills, such as being able to summarise what we have read and connecting our reading to our own experiences. Children in early years and key stage one read with an adult at least once per week and older children are involved in group reading tasks with an adult just as frequently. We also send home reading books every week for children to read with parents and carers. Parkwood also encourages parents and carers to read more complex texts to their children at home and offer 'school story' every Friday, where children can choose to hear teachers reading a wide range of tales to them in small groups.

Reading at home: some top tips 

  • Ensure your child brings their book bags to school every day so they have plenty of attractive reading material
  • Visit book shops and allow them to pick out books. You can suggest books too.
  • Remember comics, magazines and non-fiction books count as reading.
  • There are some great newspapers for children: The Week Junior and First News are both brilliant.
  • Read with them - even when they're in Year 6! Take it in turns to read a page each.
  • Build up how long your child can read for; begin with 15 minutes if they find longer stretches hard.
  • If a child isn't enjoying a book, remind them it is okay to stop reading it half way through and find a book they prefer.
  • Model reading - if you enjoy reading show this to your child, as parents you are the best role model.