Reading and Phonics at Brindishe

Reading and Phonics

At Brindishe Schools our aim is to ensure that every child is fully prepared with the skills required to be a confident, skilled and expressive reader.  All children will be taught these skills each week through a mixture of individual, shared, guided and whole class reading sessions. Children will develop their reading fluency and their ability to respond to relevant questions and related tasks. The way we teach reading is tailored to meet all the children’s needs and abilities. A range of appropriate strategies will be used by our teachers to identify and support each child’s next steps.  

We want children to develop a real love of books and reading and so we make sure that children have access to, and are introduced to, high quality books and texts every day in their class libraries and around the school. We want children to see books, stories and reading as an enjoyable and stimulating experience and to read for pleasure as well as for purpose. This will be promoted every day as well as the reading skills they will need.  We also foster a love of reading through such things as special author visits to the school, making sure children know about and visit local libraries, holding story telling weeks and our celebrating World Book Day.

We use a ‘real books’ approach to learning to read, using books by published authors. We do not use a specific reading scheme at Brindishe Schools.  Our experience is that reading schemes can often narrow a child’s interests and create dependence on ‘the next prescribed book’ at the ‘next prescribed level’. Reading Scheme books can be formulaic and rather limited. Our aim is to develop children to be versatile readers who want to pursue their own interests and develop their imaginations. We do have some fiction and non-fiction ‘reading scheme’ books in our classroom libraries. These are generally used to support younger or less experienced readers who will read them alongside similarly leveled ‘real’ books.

At Brindishe Schools each child in Early Years and Key Stage 1 takes home a book every night to enjoy. This may mean listening to an adult read, reading to an adult or to themselves. Reading Response books in Early Years, KS1 and KS2 can provide a constant link between home and school and this home-school link is vital to developing confident and skilled readers. We will provide regular opportunities to explain to parents and carers their vital role in helping their child become a successful reader. 


We follow the synthetic phonics programme known as ‘Letters and Sounds’ (Phases 1 – 6). This starts with Phase 1 in the Nursery and in our Reception classes the children experience an intensive phonic programme (Phases 2, 3 and 4). This covers all 44 phonemes in the English language, and enables children to begin to hear individual sounds within words (to segment), as well as put the sounds together to make a word (to blend them).  This continues into Year 1 (Phases 1-5), where children will continue to develop their phonetic knowledge to support with reading and writing, and in Year 2, where children develop their understanding of spelling rules and patterns (Phase 6). 

Phonics sessions also include learning to read and write high frequency words appropriate to each phase. Children are encouraged to apply this knowledge in shared or guided writing sessions and in their independent writing.

If you would like to know more about how we teach reading or phonics at Brindishe please contact the headteacher who will put you in touch with a member of our English team.