We CARE • Curiosity - Aspiration - Respect - Enthusiasm


We CARE • Curiosity - Aspiration - Respect - Enthusiasm

Phonics & Reading


At Cholsey, we know that systematic synthetic phonics, taught in the first years of a child’s education, gives children the key building blocks that they need to succeed.

Our early reading curriculum, aims to give children the best possible start on their reading and writing journey by developing their phonological awareness through high quality teaching. Our chosen phonics scheme allows children to secure each grapheme quickly, as we teach them the key phonological skills and knowledge needed in order to decode and encode words independently. The more graphemes that the children learn to read and write, the greater amount of words they will be able to read and spell, and, as they decode unfamiliar words, they encounter and learn new vocabulary. As a school, we are determined that every pupil will learn to read regardless of background, needs or abilities and we therefore use careful formal and informal assessment strategies throughout our phonics teaching in order to identify children that are not progressing as quickly and aim to provide intensive additional support in order to facilitate those children to catch up.

Our ultimate goal is for every child to be able to read with accuracy and automaticity, becoming confident and fluent readers. This fluency enables skilled reading and comprehension. We know that this key development of reading coincides with the importance of enjoying quality literature and we aspire to instill in all children a love of reading that we hope will stay with them for life. We develop a breadth of vocabulary, language, comprehension and a love of reading alongside our phonics programme through stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction texts.


In order to give every child the tools to become independent life-long learners we aim to:
  • Deliver high-quality phonics teaching which secures the essential phonics skills that once mastered, enables the children to read with fluency and automaticity.
  • Foster and develop a life-long love of reading in children.
  • Provide consistent practice, progression and continuity in the pedagogy of phonics throughout the school using our chosen phonics scheme to guide us.
  • To identify pupils who need additional support quickly and provide targeted interventions, ensuring they are given sufficient support to progress.


Children should:

  • Receive a daily discrete phonics session starting from the beginning of foundation stage in order to begin to acquire the grapheme/phoneme correspondences needed for reading and writing, until phonics is secure or an alternative intervention is in place.
  • Use reading as a fundamental part of all curriculum development, applying their learnt phonic knowledge across the curriculum.
  • Read with increasing fluency and automaticity by the end of year 1.
  • Develop an enjoyment in books not only at school, but also at home with access to reading materials matched to their phonics level.

The Phonics Programme

At Cholsey Primary, we have chosen to use Bug Club Phonics, a comprehensive teaching programme and DFE approved systematic synthetic phonics scheme.


Reading in KEY STAGE 2

The main aim of our approach to reading in KS2 is to instil a love of books and an enjoyment of reading. This is achieved through exposure to carefully selected quality texts that cover a range of genres across the curriculum.

Reading is taught daily as a discrete whole class lesson where the children are exposed to and enjoy a variety of text types that often have links to the genres studied in Literacy lessons. They explore different question types through the use of VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising) to develop comprehension skills and deepen their understanding of what they have read.

For any children who did not pass the KS1 Phonics Screening Check, phonics-based reading interventions are put in place to revisit any phonemes that have not been secured. Following teacher assessments, either Reading Recovery Style or the Phonic Books approaches are used.

For those children who are not meeting age related expectations, tailored interventions are put in place. Children are provided with texts that are matched to their reading ability and to their interest age (Barrington Stoke), in order to develop confidence in their ability to read independently and with fluency. Once fluency has been established, focused interventions to develop children’s comprehension skills are put in place enabling them to engage with a text in depth.

Year Ones with their Year 6 reading buddies


Phonics and reading ability is frequently monitored ensuring that children make good progress on their journey from Foundation to Year 6. This ensures that they are confident readers enabling full access to the curriculum. We are proud of our reading results at Cholsey Primary.