Whitby's Lane, Winsford, CW7 2LZ

Phonics & Learning to Read

Phonics & Learning to Read

At Oak View Academy we teach children the basics of reading through a phonics programme, Read, Write, Inc taught daily in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.

When our nursery children are ready to learn phonics, we introduce them to the programme.

The clear teaching of phonics enables children to learn to read and spell correctly. We track their progress on a half-termly basis. Any child who is falling behind will receive additional 1-1 phonics practice every day to enable them to catch up.

What is phonics?

Watch a short video on pronouncing sounds.

How to help your child blend sounds  to make words.

How to support your child to read using phonics.

Set 1 sounds with letter formation reminders
Sets 1, 2 & 3 speed sounds.
Complex speed sounds chart


Reading is so important, as through it, children have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, morally, socially and spiritually.

Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables children to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to be able to participate fully as a member of society; pupils who learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are best prepared to effectively participate in wider society.

To achieve this, we ensure that:

  • there is a clear focus on ensuring that younger children gain the phonics knowledge and language comprehension skills necessary to read and spell;
  • reading is prioritised to allow children to access the curriculum;
  • a rigorous, sequential approach to the reading curriculum develops the children’s fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading; 
  • at all stages, reading attainment is assessed and gaps are addressed quickly and effectively for all; 
  • at the early stages of learning to read, reading materials are closely matched to the children’s phonic knowledge.   

Initially, children learn to read through the Read Write Inc programme. The children will learn the set 1 sounds, then begin to read ‘Ditties’ once they can blend the sounds to make simple decodable words. When children are able to do this independently, they will bring home a copy of their reading book on a Monday to practice each day. This is fully decodable. When this is returned to school on a Friday, children will be given a copy of a linked decodable short story which uses the same sounds to read over the weekend. The children should be able to read these books independently. As the children progress through the programme, they will learn to read more complex words containing set 2 and set 3 sounds and ‘tricky’ words that are not decodable. The Read Write Inc books are very carefully matched to your child’s reading level.

In addition to the Read Write Inc books, we send home a book to be shared on a Wednesday. This is a picture book /information book of the child’s choice that they would like an adult to read with/to them.

Julia Donaldson’s top reading tips.

We also develop the children’s understanding of what they are reading through a daily reading lesson where we follow the Steps to Read programme and a daily story/poetry session in each class. Through the reading and writing lessons, the children access a range of quality books from the classics to the modern. We follow the Read to Write programme to support the children’s development of writing, which is also based on quality literature.

Six of the best tips to help your child with reading comprehension:

Understanding what you are reading is just as important as being able to decode the words.  Here are six tips to help your child develop their reading comprehension skills:

  • Ask your child to read aloud. This forces them to go slower and create more time to process what they read. They are not only seeing the words, they are hearing them too. You can also take turns reading aloud.
  • Make sure books aren’t difficult. They should recognise at least 90 percent of the words without any help.
  • Reread to build fluency. To gain meaning from what they have read they need to read quickly and smoothly. Rereading familiar, simple books gives your child practice at becoming more fluent.
  • Talk to a teacher. If your child is struggling, they may need more help with their reading.
  • Supplement class reading. If your child’s class is studying a particular theme, look for easy-to-read books or magazines on the topic.
  • Talk about what they are reading. This helps them think through the themes of the book. Ask questions before, during, and after a session.

Reading at home

You can support your child by joining the local library and visiting it regularly, helping your child to choose suitable books to read. If you are unsure what to read, there is a list of good books for each year group on the link below.


There are also a lot of books that are available to read online for free. Below are links to some of the available sites: