Phonics & Reading

At Knowles Primary School we believe reading is fundamental to lifelong learning. Our aim is that all children will be able to read at an age appropriate level by the time they leave Year 2. Our reading and phonics teaching is supported by the following schemes:

Whole School Reading Scheme: 

We use Collins Big Cat to support reading at Knowles Primary School. The comprehensive scheme has levelled books from lilac in Foundation through to pearl in Year 6 and is used daily to support children in Guided Reading lessons.

From early phonic development to fluent reading, Collins Big Cat is a whole-school programme that provides complete support for primary reading. Deliver effective phonics with fully decodable books, expertly aligned to Letters and Sounds and foster a love of reading with hundreds of levelled readers to support guided, independent and whole-class reading.


We follow a systematic approach to teaching phonics through the use of Letters & Sounds phonics scheme. Through daily phonics sessions, teachers promote speaking and listening skills, phonological awareness and oral blending.

Letters and Sounds is a systematic approach for teaching children to read using phonics. It is split into six phases, from starting to learn about sounds at nursery to becoming fluent readers around age 7.

The phonic approach encourages children to directly link letters (graphemes) to sounds (phonemes), and to teach children pure sounds like ah, b, k when encountering the alphabet. So, children learn how to put sounds represented by letters or letter groups (like ch or igh) together to read words in a more straightforward way.

In addition to daily reading and phonics sessions,children are expected to borrow a book from school graded at the appropriate level and to read this with an adult at home. Our take home books are also from Collins Big Cat to ensure consistency across the school. 

Additional support is available for children who may be at risk of not reaching an appropriate reading level. These include ‘Reading Recovery’ and ‘Fischer Family Trust’, reading interventions for KS1 children and ‘Better Reading Partners’ in Key Stage Two.

Additional support is available for children who need support with phonics with our rapid phonics catch up interventions.

If you require any additional information please speak to your child’s class teacher.

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