Reading and Phonics

Early Reading

Phonics Overview

Phonics is a fundamental method of teaching children how to read and write.

Phonics is all about sounds. There are 44 sounds (phonemes) in the English language, which we put together to form words. Some are represented by one letter (grapheme), like 'a' in ant, and some by two or more, like 'ck' in duck and 'ear' in hear.

At Charlton Manor we teach phonics and application of reading following Twinkle Phonics, which is a validated systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in the Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception). We follow the Twinkl Phonics, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.

We model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that comprehension, speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

We teach children to read through weekly reading practice sessions in small groups of approximately up to six children. We use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge.

To ensure the teaching of Phonics is effective in each class teachers and leaders are closely monitoring and assessing children’s progress and attainment in phonics both in summative and formative way.

For more information please click on the link to take you to Twinkl Phonics website (to follow).

Pupil Voice

'We learn sounds.' (FS)

'We learn alphabet.' (FS)

'I love it because my name starts with ‘f’, I do the sounds, all of them, I sound words out.' (FS)

'Phonics is sounds which help you to read and write.' (Y1)

'You can learn better when you know phonics. I like learning sounds.' (Y1)

'I like that we learn new sounds, read and play phonics games.' (Y2)

'We spell words in phonics, teacher asks you –can you spell this?, we read newspapers.' (Y2)

'I like that we sound out lots of words. It helps me with my reading so I know if it is a split diagraph.' (Y2)

Learning in Action

Phonics Collage


Throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, children’s reading progression is assessed using a coloured banding system, moving from Pink (Phase 2 phonics) up through Turquoise (Phase 5/6 phonics) and finishing with Lime. Beyond this, children are considered to be ‘free readers.’ Those who continue to struggle with reading into Key Stage 2 have targeted intervention.

From Year 2 to Year 6, classes have a weekly guided reading session which uses a high quality text – be it poetry, non-fiction or fiction – to teach key reading skills, grammar in context and improve vocabulary and writing. Guided reading is also encouraged in all subjects, including English, Maths & Science across all foundation subjects.

We have a Library and every classroom has its own book corner, allowing children to select books that they enjoy and can read at home with their parents and carers. Children are expected to read at home daily, whether that’s independently or with an adult. Teachers help children to select books and ensure children are choosing texts which are at an appropriate level.

At the end of every day, class teachers read a quality text to their class for 15 minutes during story time. The texts are challenging and are another opportunity for elements of guided reading, although the primary focus is on enjoyment and reading for pleasure. Every Friday, teachers swap classes during story time so that children have an opportunity to listen to a wide range of teachers and readers.

You can read our Early Reading Policy here.

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