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The National Curriculum English Programmes of Study – Key Stages 1 and 2

Accelerated Reader

In Years 2-6 we use ‘Accelerated Reader’ as a tool for monitoring and managing children’s independent reading. Children are expected to read for at least 30 minutes a day. They can then take quizzes on the books they have recently read on laptops/ I pads using the Accelerated Reader website. Children and teachers can then monitor how well they are understanding what they read and teachers can set targets for children to improve on. They can also identify where pupils need help.

Children also take Reading Star tests at least once a term to monitor their progress. In conjunction with various rewards, such as the 100% board this helps to promote reading for pleasure.

Phonics at Brunswick Park

At Brunswick Park the teaching of phonics is given high importance as for the vast majority of pupils it is the most effective way of helping them begin to learn how to read and write. We are proud of the fact that our rigorous, focused approach to the teaching of phonics has resulted in our pupils consistently performing above national and local authority averages in the end of Year 1 phonics screening. We recognise that parents have a vital role to play in helping children to learn to read and write and therefore we always aim to work in partnership with parents so that you have the information you need to support your child effectively.

At Brunswick Park we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme for teaching phonics. We also use some ‘Jolly Phonics’ resources to supplement this. The Letters and Sounds programme is split into 6 phases.

During Nursery most children will complete Phase 1, although some may begin some learning from Phase 2 if they are ready to. In Reception, most children will complete phases 2-4 and in Key Stage 1 most children revise phase 4 and then begin phases 5 and 6. Below is a brief description of the key learning in each phase:

Phase 1:

This phase concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.

Phase 2:

The purpose of this phase is to teach at least 19 letters, and move children on from oral blending and segmentation to blending and segmenting with letters.  By the end of this phase many children should be able to read and spell some VC and CVC words.

Set 1 s   a   t   p
Set 2 i   n   m   d
Set 3 g   o   c   k
Set 4 ck   e   u   r
Set 5 h   b   f   ff   l   ll   ss

Phase 3:

The purpose of this phase is to teach another 25 graphemes, most of them compromising two letters (e.g. oa), so the children can represent each of about 42 phonemes by a grapheme.  Children will also continue to practise CVC blending and segmentation in this phase and will apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions.

Set 6 j   v   w   x
Set 7 y   z   zz   qu
Consonant digraphs ch  sh  th  ng
Vowel digraphs ai  ee  oa  oo  ar  or   ur  ow  oi  er
Vowel trigraphs igh  ear  air  ure

Phase 4:

The purpose of this phase is to consolidate children’s knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words.

Phase 5:

The purpose of this phase is for children to broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling.  They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for the graphemes they already know, where relevant.

Set 8 ay   ou   ie   ea
Set 9 oy   ir   ue   aw
Set 10 wh   ph   ew   oe   au
Set 11 a-e   e-e   i-e   o-e   u-e

Phase 6:

During this phase, children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers. Children will be taught the past tense, investigating and learning how to add suffixes and the teaching of spelling long words.

Suffixes -s  -es  -ing  -ed 
-er  -est  -y
-ful  -en  -ment

Alongside phonics, your child will also learn by sight ‘tricky’ words such as ‘was’ that can’t be decoded using phonics.

Please don’t worry if words like ‘graphemes’ and ‘segmenting’ don’t mean anything to you when your child first starts school! As your child progresses through Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1, there will be lots of chances for you to find out more about how phonics is taught, what the different phonics jargon means and, most importantly, how you can support your child with phonics. For example, when your child is in Reception you will be invited to ‘Read with Me’ sessions. Your child will also bring home a sheet each week telling you what phonemes and tricky words they have been learning about in phonics sessions. Similarly, when your child starts Year 1 you will be given the chance to attend a transition coffee morning where you will be given lots of helpful information about how phonics is taught and how you can support your child. We also have an open-door policy so if you need advice about helping your child with phonics, just ask!

Phonics is taught every day in Reception and Key Stage 1. In Reception, your child will take part in guided reading sessions as part of a small group to help improve their reading fluency and comprehension. In Year 1 and 2, your child will continue to take part in guided reading sessions and will also read on a 1:1 basis with the class Nursery Nurse or Learning Support Assistant.


Children are encouraged to use their phonics to help them ‘sound out’ and write words. When children begin to learn to write we encourage them to use their phonics to spell words they don’t know and they should be praised for using their sounds even if the spelling isn’t quite right. The important thing at this stage is that they are ‘having a go’. For example, they might write ‘porridge’ as ‘porij’ or ‘angry’ as ‘angree’. This is an important developmental stage that children need to go through and is nothing to be concerned about. In fact it should be celebrated! Gradually, they will begin to learn how to select the correct spelling pattern to use out of the different ones that they have been taught and so their spelling will become more accurate.

Reading books

In Reception we mainly use Oxford Reading Tree books such as ‘Floppy’s Phonics’ (fiction and non-fiction), ‘Songbirds’ and ‘Traditional Tales’. We supplement this with some books from the ‘Funny Photo Phonics’ range. Each week your child will bring home a ‘real’ book by a popular children’s author as well as a phonetically decodable reading book from the schemes above. Parents are responsible for changing books with their child each week. In Year 1 your child will read on a 1:1 basis with the class Nursery Nurse each week and will bring home an Oxford Reading Tree phonically decodeable book as in Reception, or a book from the ‘Rigby Rocket’ scheme. They will also continue to bring home a free choice ‘real’ book. In Year 2 your child will continue to read books from the ‘Rigby’ scheme and may start to bring home longer ‘chapter’ books if they are ready to. Please read with your child every day and make sure that you make a comment in your child’s reading journal.

We encourage children to read for pleasure and enjoyment so that they become lifelong readers. We value all reading and children are encouraged to read a wide range of texts such as comics, newspapers, information books, letters, recipes, stories and magazines. We have close links with Osidge Library and classes are encouraged to make regular trips there. We also use a programme called ‘Accelerated Reader’ to help encourage children to read and to develop their comprehension skills.

If you would like further information about phonics and supporting your child with reading and writing then we recommend looking at the following websites.


http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ (There are some free resources on this website but there is a small subscription fee to access the full range of materials)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqhXUW_v-1s (A video showing you how to articulate the different sounds)

http://www.readingchest.co.uk/synthetic-phonics  (This website helps to explain some of the phonics terminology that your child will be taught to use in class e.g. grapheme, phoneme, segmenting, trigraph and digraph)


www.oxfordowl.co.uk (You can sign up to this website to access lots of Oxford Reading Tree books at home).

9,271 thoughts on “English

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