Reading and Phonics

Reading and Phonics

Reading and Phonics

Reading Schemes

At Springfield Academy, all our early reading books are colour banded. Your child will be given a colour band to choose their home reading book from which will help to ensure that the book they select is at about the right reading level for them. Every colour band includes books from a range of reading schemes so that they will experience a range of stories, text types and illustrations. The majority of books within the early book bands can be decoded using phonics skills and knowledge.

Reading for Pleasure

At Springfield Academy, we encourage pupils to develop a love of reading from the day they join us. We hold reading events in school where parents are invited in to read with their children. We encourage you to borrow books from our school collection to enjoy with your children. We encourage families to share books with their child. Children are encouraged to change their books regularly. Children will bring reading books and high frequency words home weekly and we ask you to spend some time with your children looking at these and comment in their reading record. Every child in school has a reading record book.

From Y1, pupils have a home reader and continue to take home books for sharing with their parents alongside their own reading book. All children are asked to continue learning unknown High Frequency Words and read at least three times weekly. We hope that these habits continue as pupils get older – once they are independent readers, pupils select their own reading material, but we still ask for your support in discussing and reading with your child three times weekly.

We use the Renaissance Accelerated Reader throughout school and children can access using their own log ins.

Home readers are also supplemented by the Oxford Reading Tree Reading Scheme.


At Springfield Academy, early reading is taught using synthetic phonics as the main approach to reading. Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds all through the word for reading, and how to segment the sounds in order to write words. They are taught to use their phonic skills and knowledge as their first approach to reading, but are also taught high frequency words which do not completely follow the phonic rules.

At Springfield Academy we firmly believe that good phonics teaching is at the heart of successful early reading and writing experiences.  The school follows the government published programme “Letters and Sounds” using resources from the “Phonics Play” a subscription website which supports us in providing a multi-sensory approach to learning phonics. For more information about phonics, including a video of how to pronounce the phonemes (sounds), please go to

Timescales given in Letters and Sounds act as a guide and staff across school adapt these timeframes to suit the needs of groups and individuals. Phases may also be revisited e.g. Phase 4 at the beginning of Year 1.

Letters and Sounds – A Summary

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

PhasePhonic Knowledge and Skills
Phase One (Nursery/Reception)Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.
Phase Two (Reception) up to 6 weeksLearning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeksThe remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.
Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeksNo new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.