Early Reading and Phonics

Our Curriculum Intent for Phonics

At Cuddington, we provide a rich reading environment and by doing so, our children learn to listen, speak and discriminate between sounds. Our carefully sequenced approach allows children to become confident in segmenting, blending, and decoding words through each phonics phase.


Phonics and Early Reading

Reading is central to all learning. Learning to read effectively will support children's learning across the curriculum, their ability to be independent, and their future life choices. By being exposed to a wide range of stories and texts, children are better able to make sense of the world. This is the driving force behind our approach at Cuddington. We foster a love of reading from an early age when the children join us in Reception. To ensure that reading is at the heart of the curriculum, we immerse the children in reading experiences such as daily story times, sharing stories, and reading aloud stories including poems, rhymes, and non-fiction to develop their speaking and listening skills as well as their vocabulary.  

Reading development is closely related to that of phonics, communication, and writing, therefore we ensure that the children are reading books that are closely matched to their phonic level, by providing the children with a reading book aligned to their phonic level, as well as a reading book that supports their vocabulary development and language comprehension. We also use a systematic approach to phonics to support the development of early reading.

We use the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme to support our discrete, daily teaching of phonics in EYFS and KS1. We use a systematic approach of ‘revisit, teach, practise, apply,’ in order to provide the children with the phonic knowledge and language comprehension they need to read and write.

At Cuddington, we teach Phonics through:

- Daily lessons which follow a systematic approach: revisiting sounds already taught, learning new sounds, and practising with applying sounds through activities.

- A multi-sensory approach to teaching, which is engaging.

  • Reinforcing and applying acquired phonic knowledge and skills across the curriculum and in shared/guided reading and writing.


Collins Big Cat

Our children follow the Big Cat reading scheme all the way up to Year 6. Even when the children are confident at decoding, we believe that providing them with a leveled reading book in Upper KS2 ensures the book is a suitable challenge for the child. Our children are given daily opportunities to practise their reading fluency, whether it be 1:1 reading with a teacher, teaching assistant, or parent reader or through reading aloud during guided and whole class shared reading.

At Cuddington, we always aim to promote reading for pleasure as this itself plays a major role in reading development. Our teachers are readers and share their love of reading with their children in a range of ways, including daily class reads and termly mystery readers. Each classroom has an inviting reading area, resourced with ‘top picks’ and books linked to topics. The children are also given the opportunity to visit our well-stocked library once a week, where they can borrow books to take home.

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