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Phonics is a key skill that supports the development of early reading skills. At St Bede’s, we combine quality phonics teaching and the promotion of reading for pleasure to provide our pupils with the skills they need to have a successful start to their lives as readers.


Using the DFE validated scheme Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS). We intend our pupils to be able to:


  • Recognise, say and write all phonemes within each phase of Essential Letters and Sounds
  • Use their phonic knowledge to blend and segment phonetically decodable words
  • Use their phonic knowledge to attempt to read and write more complex words
  • Read Harder to Read and Spell words
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, using their phonic knowledge
  • Develop their reading and writing fluency
  • Love listening to and reading simple stories 


Decodable Books


It is vital that whilst children are learning to read, they read books that match their phonic knowledge. The Oxford University Press decodable readers support Essential Letters and Sounds. These books have been carefully matched to every aspect of the programme and to the sounds that your child is learning in school. These books are intended to be used during the Review lesson on Day 5 of each week and as home readers. They are also recommended for use in other reading sessions to give children plenty of opportunities to develop their phonic knowledge and reading fluency. Children keep the books for one week and need to aim to re-read them at least four times in this period. Re-reading ensures that children develop their reading skills and fluency. This, in turn, supports their learning in school; as children become more fluent at reading, they are able to focus on their new learning.The children's reading book will be match to the phase of phonics that they are currently learning. When your child knows all of their phonetic sounds up to and including Phase 5, they will move onto the Oxford Reading Tree scheme from Stage 6 onwards.


Children are also encouraged to enjoy library time, taking books to read and share at home. We ask that these are returned regularly so that they can be changed for new library books.


In Key Stage 2, children will continue on the school's reading scheme until they are confident to become 'free readers'. As in KS1, parents are encouraged to contribute to thier child's learning by writing a comment in their reading record book. This ensures there is continued communication between home and school. 


St Bede's Autumn Term Reading Newsletter 2020