Reading and phonics

Reading is about drawing together a whole range of strategies – sounds made by letters and groups of letters, learning words by sight, using the context of the sentence, considering whether the sentence makes sense, bringing to reading other story and book experiences.

At Ormiston Cliff Park Infant Academy our priority is to equip our children with these skills and provide constant opportunities to practice and build on these through all experiences in class, each day. Please see the PowerPoint presentation ‘Reading at Ormiston Cliff Park Infant Academy 2019‘ for information shared at our Reading Information Event recently.


At Ormiston Cliff Park Infant Academy, phonics is taught consistently, every day, using the Letter and Sounds Programme (a government programme introduced in 2007).  Throughout its six phases, children will be taught the 44 phonemes, learning the skills of blending and segmenting to aid reading and writing skills. Phonics and Spelling lessons take place every day in every class.

This teaching and learning is supplemented in Reception with the use of actions and songs to bring all our senses into play as we develop our skills.

Click here for our guide to the Letters and Sounds Phonics Programme and its phases.

Phonics is a systematic approach to teaching children the sounds that make up words. Words are broken down into the sounds they’re made up from and then these sounds are ‘blended’ together to make the word.

So, for example, with ‘dog’, children learn the sounds of the letters d, o, and g separately and then they blend to say ‘dog’. Phonics also helps children spell as they can hear the sounds in a word and then turn them back into the letters needed.


At Ormiston Cliff Park Infant Academy reading is at the heart of all opportunities for learning. There are many opportunities to read throughout each day. These include – shared reading together, reading individual books, guided reading lessons, application of phonics skills, listening to stories read and modelled, answering questions about information read.

Each child takes home a “scheme style” reading book from an colour-coded ability banded selection. Our children also have the opportunity to borrow books from the library.

Reading books

Children will bring home both a library book and home “scheme” type book. We use a variety of scheme type books so that the children read a range of materials. These books are grouped into colour-coded ability level bands. This means that the children can enjoy a range of different characters, formats and types of book which are appropriate to their reading development. Our children also have the opportunity to borrow books from the library.

EYFS – Reception

During Phase 2, pupils learn letters of the alphabet and the sounds each letter makes. During Phase 3, the pupils revisit the letter sounds from Phase 2 and progress onto learning graphemes such as ch, oo, th. They begin to read captions, sentences and questions. During Phase 4, the pupils begin to learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants e.g swim, clap, jump.

Key Stage One

Throughout Year One, the pupils continue to revisit Phases 2, 3 and 4 and then progress onto phase 5. During this phase the children learn alternate pronounciations for graphemes e.g ‘ay’ and ‘ai’. In Year Two, once the pupils have completed Phase 5, they begin Phase 6. During this phase, the pupils learn to apply different spelling rules including adding prefixes and suffixes to root words.

Below is a wonderful video showing how to encourage your child’s language development, by Kirsty Murrell, a Speech and Language Therapist at Speak East.


Latest news