Birchwood Grove CP School

Reading and Phonics

We strongly believe at Birchwood Grove that the ability to read and write is a vital skill for all children, paving the way to an enjoyable and successful school experience. Discovering and nurturing new skills to be a successful reader should be an exciting and motivating part of the children’s school day; enabling them to transfer their skills into all areas of their learning and play.


  “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”  

Dr. Seuss, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!

At school, children will engage in daily phonics, not just through discrete teaching but built into all areas of the curriculum. We teach phonics using the Read Write Inc phonics scheme, aiming to move children onto more sophisticated spelling and grammar in Year 2, or when they are ready. The programme is fast paced; learning new sounds every day. Read Write Inc revisits and reviews prior learning to ensure the children embed their knowledge of phonics and begin to transfer these skills into their writing. 

The scheme uses rhyme to assist the children in recalling sounds which has proven to be very successful at school. The children love these rhymes, for example ‘oa – goat in a boat’



Read Write Inc is split into three sets of sounds. Starting with the single sounds, we teach children the pure sounds (phoneme) along with the letter name and how to read and write each letter (grapheme).  

See how the sounds are pronounced here

We then progress onto set 2 and 3 sounds which include digraphs (2 letters, one sound) and also teaches children alternative ways to spell different sounds, e.g. ‘ee’ and ‘ea’ 

To watch a brief lesson for set three sounds, click here.

Read Write Inc is designed to promote successful readers. As part of the phonics lesson they will read a book that includes sounds they have previously learnt, meaning no surprises for the children. The scheme prepares the children by pre-teaching tricky words, reminds children of suffixes, and prepares them for words made up of more than one syllable. By doing this the children feel confident to read a whole book fluently and their confidence is hugely boosted at the end of a session. 

Once the children have mastered the three sets of sounds, we move them into a spelling, grammar and comprehension group, focusing on more complex spelling patterns and more sophisticated grammar and punctuation. 



We believe in both the importance of developing children’s discrete word-reading skills and comprehension, and the need to engender their love of books and reading. We recognise that the two elements are intertwined; each relies on the other if children are to become life-long readers. 

 Reading is a strong focus throughout the whole school. We will teach children the skills  they need to be able to read fluently and develop their curiosity of language by exposing them to new vocabulary, both in the books they read and those that the teachers read to them.

A rich variety of books are available throughout the school, for example, picture books, big books, storybooks, reading scheme books, shared reading books, poetry and non-fiction books. We build time into the children's day to read independently, aloud and having an adult read to them.

The children also visit the learning zone weekly where they can borrow a range of books, giving opportunity to explore new authors and genres.

Parental involvement is crucial in developing children’s reading. The children are able to share successes in their own reading, but also have the chance to listen to stories; an invaluable part of learning to read and being immersed in new vocabulary.


Home/School Reading

Reading at home and school is recorded on Seesaw, giving parents and children opportunity to share the children’s reading progress and success.

If you would like some information about how best to support your child when reading, please click the link below.


Prompts for reading with your child at home.