Reading & Phonics

At Knowles, we aim to foster a deep love of reading for all children and aim for all children to become confident, fluent readers who are passionate about the books they read. 

Our high quality plans and resources, written by experts, empower teachers with the subject knowledge they need to feel confident teaching phonics, reading and literacy and supports teachers’ workload and wellbeing. 

Phonics lessons happen daily, our reading leader works alongside all staff to ensure that phonics teaching is high quality and consistent across the school. Children are assessed termly and set in homogenous phonics groups ensuring that phonics teaching is well matched to children’s abilities and supports them to make rapid progress. Children in the bottom 20% benefit from additional speed sounds lessons recapping the sound of the day and fast track tutoring to ensure they close the gap and make rapid progress in line with their peers. Our aim is for all children to leave KS1 able to read confidently and access the rest of our curriculum. For children that need it, additional phonics lessons run in KS2 to support learners.

From Year 2, children access daily guided reading lessons. These lessons use Collins Big Cat books that are carefully matched to the curriculum and levelled through to Year 6. Teachers’ subject knowledge is supported with expertly written plans that match the books shared with children. 

Reading is promoted throughout the school. At Knowles we aim for all children to become confident, fluent readers who are passionate about sharing books. Children have access to two well stocked libraries and in KS1 they take home a book from Read, Write, Inc that they can read confidently and is matched to the sounds they learn and also a book from our whole school ‘Big Cat’ books scheme which they should be able to read with adult support. In KS2 children will take home a library book and a ‘Big Cat’ reading book closely matched to their reading level. Children are also read to by our wonderful staff from our Spine Books and poetry spine books, have traditional stories shared in assembly times and hear regular stories through our Talk 4 Writing Literacy lessons. 

From foundation, children are taught to read following the Read, Write, Inc. programme.

Children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes. They experience success from the very beginning. Lively phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases.

This fully resourced, planned and systematic approach to the teaching of phonics, reading and ultimately writing, is taught daily in KS1 with additional groups for children in KS2 and is lead by our knowledgeable staff and our dedicated Reading Leaders.

Meet Our Reading Leaders

Assistant Headteacher
Miss Purves
Reading Recovery Teacher
Mrs Kitshoff

How Your Child Learns

Your child will learn to read in a very simple way.

He or she will learn to:

  1. Read letters by their ‘sounds’
  2. Blend these sounds into words
  3. Read the words in a story

First, your child will learn to read:

  • Set 1 Speed Sounds: these are sounds written with one letter:
    m a s d t i n p g o c k u b f e l h r j v y w z x
  • sounds written with two letters (your child will call these ‘special friends’):
    sh th ch qu ng nk ck
  • Words containing these sounds, by sound-blending,
    e.g. m–a–t mat, c–a–t cat, g–o–t got, f–i–sh fish, s–p–o–t spot, b–e–s–t best, s–p–l–a–sh splash
  • Blending Books and Red, Green and Purple Storybooks.

Second, he or she will learn to read:

  • Set 2 Speed Sounds:
    ay ee igh ow oo oo ar or air ir ou oy
  • Words containing these sounds
  • Pink, Orange and Yellow Storybooks.

Third, he or she will learn to read:

  • Set 3 Speed Sounds:
    ea oi a-e i-e o-e u-e aw are ur er ow ai oa ew ire ear ure
  • Words containing these sounds
  • Blue and Grey Storybooks.

More information about how you can support your child to read at home can be found here in this handy parent guide

Reading into Writing through Read, Write, Inc.

The children write every day, rehearsing out loud what they want to say, before spelling the words using the graphemes and ‘tricky’ words they know.

They practise handwriting every day: sitting at a table comfortably, they learn correct letter formation and how to join letters speedily and legibly.

Children’s composition (ideas, vocabulary and grammar) is developed by drawing on their own experiences and talking about the stories they read.

Exiting Read, Write, Inc

Your child’s journey with reading doesn’t end in KS1. Once they successfully complete the programme, children move to traditional literacy lessons using the Talk 4 Writing approach and access our whole school reading scheme ‘Collins Big Cat’ in daily guided reading lessons.

Children are encouraged to take home ‘Collins Big Cat’ books to share their reading success with you at home as well as a traditional library book. Home reading is monitored weekly by your child’s class teacher, children should have a minimum of 3 home reads a week.