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Phonics and Reading

How we teach reading at Brook Street 


At Brook Street School we want all children to become life long readers. In order to achieve this, we begin the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics in early years, continuing until the end of key stage 1. In key stage 2 we focus more on reading fluency and comprehension. However, a love of reading and access to quality texts is in place across the whole school. 



We use the letters and sounds handbook to guide our practise and provide daily sessions of phonics teaching, in which children make good progress. Our provision is set out as follows:


Nursery – Phase 1. Distinguishing and listening to sounds.


Reception – Phase 2 to Phase 4.  By the end of Reception children should be able to read and write all Phase 2,3 and 4 words.

Year 1 – Phase 4 to Phase 5.  By the end of Year 1 children should be able to read and write all Phase 4 and 5 words. Children must be confident in these phases to be successful in passing the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check. 

Year 2 – Phase 6 moving into ‘Support for Spelling’.  By the end of Year 2 children should be able to read and write all the Reception, Y1 and Y2 words.

Year 3 – Year 6 – ‘No nonsense spelling’ which involves learning and practising common spelling patterns, suffixes and prefixes, root words etc is followed. In addition children are taught the meanings of words in context from the national curriculum and given strategies to help them when faced with unfamiliar words.

Spellings are learned by the children each week throughout KS1 and KS2. As a school we also have a list of 'non negotiable' words which are shared with the children and their parents to ensure that spelling progresses in each year group.  This list is also shared with our cluster partner schools.

Children are encouraged to apply what they have been taught in phonics/support for spelling across all curriculum areas to embed their understanding further.




As well as supporting the acquisition of early reading through phonics, our reading curriculum is comprised of a mixture of whole class and small group guided reading. This also begins in early years and continues across the school. 


Small Group Guided Reading:

Children are organised in similar abilities and guided through a text by their class teacher. They record their thoughts, feelings and opinions on texts in journals and are encouraged to make predictions, consider what a character might be feeling and summarise key information or themes from a text too. Each group receives guided tuition from their teacher, an independent application activity, support from a teaching assistant, an opportunity to read in their classroom reading area and access to accelerated reader across the week.


Whole Class Guided Reading:                                            

Children work as a whole class on a text which is at their year group expectations. They are taught explicitly how to retrieve information from the text, how to consider points of view or hidden meanings as well as other reading comprehension skills. We choose the texts carefully and use strategies such as ‘echo’ and ‘popcorn’ reading to make them accessible to all.


Wider Reading

As well as our class teaching, our children have access to a vibrant and inviting library where they are encouraged to borrow books or even just get comfy and enjoy reading for pleasure! We are continuing to strengthen our links with the local library and we take part in their reading competitions to raise the profile within our school and wider community. We are also beginning to invite authors into school to work with children as well as arrange visits to the community library and further afield to ‘Seven stories too’. Children also read frequently at home through the Accelerated Raeder scheme and each class will have a 'class text' which they are read to across the week. 


At Brook Street, we aim for every child to have the tools and skillset needed to be life long readers but we also strive for them to foster a love of language and literature too.



“I opened a book and in I strode. Now nobody can find me.

I've left my chair, my house, my road, My town and my world behind me.

 I'm wearing the cloak, I've slipped on the ring, I've swallowed the magic potion.

I've fought with a dragon, dined with a king And dived in a bottomless ocean. I opened a book and made some friends.

I shared their tears and laughter And followed their road with its bumps and bends To the happily ever after.

I finished my book and out I came. The cloak can no longer hide me.

My chair and my house are just the same, But I have a book inside me.”

 Julia Donaldson

01228 558724