Birchwood Grove CP School

Reading and Phonics



We strongly believe at Birchwood Grove that the ability to read and write is a vital skill for all children, paving the way to an enjoyable and successful school experience. Discovering and nurturing new skills to be a successful reader should be an exciting and motivating part of the children’s school day; enabling them to transfer their skills into all areas of their learning and play. 

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”  

― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut! 

At school, children will engage in daily phonics, not just through discrete teaching but built into all areas of the curriculum. We teach phonics using the Read Write Inc phonics scheme, aiming to move children onto more sophisticated spelling and grammar in Year 2, or when they are ready. The programme is fast paced; learning new sounds every day. The programme revisits and reviews prior learning to ensure the children embed their knowledge of phonics and begin to transfer these skills into their writing. 

The scheme uses rhyme to assist the children in recalling sounds which has proven to be very successful at school. The children love these rhymes, for example ‘oa – goat in a boat’


Read Write Inc is split into three sets of sounds. Starting with the single sounds, we teach children the pure sounds (phoneme) along with the letter name and how to read and write each letter (grapheme).  - See how the sounds are pronounced here

We then progress onto set 2 and 3 sounds which include digraphs (2 letters, one sound) and also teaches children alternative ways to spell different sounds, e.g. ‘ee’ and ‘ea’  - a brief lesson for set three.

Read Write Inc is designed to promote successful readers. As part of the phonics lesson they will read a book that includes sounds they have previously learnt, meaning no surprises for the children. The scheme prepares the children by pre-teaching tricky words, reminds children of suffixes, and prepares them for words made up of more than two syllables. By doing this the children feel confident to read a whole book and their confidence is hugely boosted at the end of a session. 

Once the children have mastered the three sets of sounds, we move them into a spelling, grammar and comprehension group, focussing on more complex spelling patterns and more sophisticated grammar and punctuation. 




Reading is a strong focus throughout the whole school. Alongside teaching children to read, we believe reading for comprehension is of equal importance. We use a variety of strategies to teach reading, which include encouraging the children to use picture clues, phonics, and contextual clues. A rich variety of books are available throughout the school, for example, picture books, big books, storybooks, reading scheme books, shared reading books, poetry and non-fiction books. The children also visit the library weekly where they can take out a range of books.

Parental involvement is crucial in developing children’s reading. We involve parents closely in the school's reading programme, beginning with the taking home of books for adults to read with their child. The school’s Home Reading Scheme is operated to give children a shared experience of reading with adults at home and to promote a love of, and respect for, books.


Home/School Reading

Each child will have a home/school reading record book for parents to record the books they have read at home with their child. The staff will read these regularly and respond to any comments written in them.


Prompts for reading with your child at home. = click the link