Key Stage 1 Reading and Phonics

Being able to read is the most important skill a student will learn. At St Joseph's we place great emphasis on developing the skills of reading to develop confidence and life chances. In light of this St Joseph's has carefully chosen the phonic scheme, 'Read, Write, Inc' which concentrates on activities to promote speaking and listening skills, phonological awareness and oral blending.

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way-starting with the easiest sounds and progressing to the most complex-it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7 years old. Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills that they need to tackle new words. Children can go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and read for enjoyment. (Department for Education)

Children throughout Reception and Key stage 1 take part in daily phonics sessions. These sessions focus on key reading skills such as decoding to read words and segmenting the sounds in a given word to spell. During Phonics lessons we also teach children to read and write ‘tricky words’ also known as ‘sight words.’ These are words that you cannot sound out and children are just expected to remember how to read and write.  

Across England, all Year 1 children take part in the Phonics Screening Check in the Summer Term. The check is designed to give teachers and parents information on how your child is progressing in phonics. It will help to identify whether your child needs additional support so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill.

Phonics Programme
Read, Write, Inc



Reading is a key life skill, we are dedicated to enabling our children to become lifelong readers. 

We believe reading is key to academic success.

All children will pass the KS1 Phonics Screening Test.

Phonics is introduced through Letters and Sounds when children join nursery and progression is planned to meet the stage of learning. The progression is planned for by the Letters and Sounds markers however we look at the child’s stage of phonic knowledge and understanding, not just their age.

Children in EYFS and KS1 take part in daily phonic sessions lasting for 40 mins each morning. The children participate in speaking, listening and spelling activities that are matched to their developing needs. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Children work through the different phases, learning and developing their phonics sounds and knowledge.

Phonics teaching is complemented by reading. Children are given three books each week for home reading. We use a range of resources to enhance this and our books are banded into colours. Wherever possible, these are fully decodable to develop fluency and understanding. Currently we are looking at the book bands and ensuring they are correctly matching the phonic phases. Children are expected to move through the colours to become fluent and confident readers by the time they leave KS1.   

The Letters and Sounds programme begins in Pre-school with Phase 1 and continues to Year 2/3 Phase 6 to ensure a consistency of approach in phonics teaching and learning.

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1.

However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.