MillfieldFirst & Nursery School

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Reading, including Phonics


At Millfield, reading is the key to accessing all areas of the curriculum. Children begin their reading journey immediately through exposure to a wide variety of teaching and good quality resources. We ensure that every child has a varied reading diet which includes discrete reading sessions, fluency practice, phonics instruction, teachers reading aloud daily for pleasure and decodable books to take home. 


In Nursery, children begin developing their listening skills and phonetic awareness through fun, interactive activities based on the ‘Read Write Inc’ programme. As children enter Reception, this is further developed through daily participation in phonics sessions, which is continued into Key Stage 1. Children are grouped according to their phonetic knowledge within Reception and Year 1 and 2 are grouped across the key stage. 


In Key Stage 2 children will continue with their daily phonics lessons until they are able to read age appropriate books fluently. Key Stage 2 children complete whole class reading sessions using reading VIPERS to lead the discussions. Children are exposed to a whole high quality novel each term as well as extracts from non-fiction and poetry. 


Children has access to exciting and diverse text in their class book corners as well as fortnightly trips to the school library. 


We love reading at Millfield! 

Reading Scheme

At Millfield, we use the  'Read, Write Inc' books to further support phonics teaching and learning; these books are banded. Children take home a RWI book each week and have access to the RWI eLibrary for additional reading materials. Once the children have completed the RWI scheme, the children transfer onto the Millfield colour banded system. Children are assessed using Miscues where they are monitored on their fluency and comprehension skills, which links to the colour bands. Daily reading at home is an expectation at Millfield.


Below is a guide to Millfield's reading colour band system:

Phonics Scheme

The school uses the ‘Read, Write, Inc' scheme for Phonics.


At Millfield, we believe that it is every child’s entitlement to become a fluent and confident reader. This is initially provided through the discrete teaching of phonics.


Through daily, systematic and consistent high quality phonics teaching, children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read words. We recognise the importance of teaching high quality phonics; as a result we follow the phonetic skills set out in Read, Write, Inc to ensure consistency and progression for Millfield children.


Children not working at the expected standard are closely monitored. A bespoke package is developed for children where required to support their progression in reading.


Children are provided with focussed, multi-sensory phonics lessons to enable them to become increasingly independent readers. This is supported by differentiated smaller groups for the teaching of phonics, close monitoring of the teaching of phonics and a robust assessment of children’s phonetic skills, which is built upon each year.


Through the systematic teaching of skills that builds on prior knowledge in phonics, we strive to equip our children to leave Year 1 with a secure understanding of phonetic skills to become fluent readers.

Phonics Teaching at Millfield

Phonics is embedded throughout the curriculum focusing on listening to different sounds in the environment and children investigating their own name. Discrete phonics is taught once a week introducing an individual letter sound, which is the focus sound for the week. The sounds are embedded through a range of activities and games across the Early Years environment. 

Discrete daily phonics is taught introducing children to individual letters sounds and the initial digraphs. Children begin to blend and segment CVC words, which then progresses to writing simple sentences including tricky words. The children read to an adult individually every week. 

Year 1:
Discrete phonics is taught in small groups daily according to their phonetic knowledge. They learn a combination of digraphs, trigraphs and split digraphs which are used to support their reading and writing. Alternative spellings and common suffixes are introduced, as well as reinforcing blending and segmenting. Real and nonsense words are learnt in order to monitor the children’s ability to apply their phonetic knowledge; this learning also helps to prepare children for the Year 1 statutory Phonics screening.

Year 2:  

Children will continue to develop and embed their phonetic knowledge until they are secure. Once children are secure in this, they move onto learning the Year 2 spelling rules. They also learn about root words, compound words, suffixes and prefixes. The children learn how to read and spell common exception words to develop fluency. 

Year 3 and Year 4: 

If required, Key Stage 2 children continue to secure their phonetic knowledge in small groups. In weekly spelling lessons, the children continue to learn and develop spelling rules to support their reading and writing.
Whole class reading sessions is taught three times a week using VIPERS to guide discussions. Children are exposed to high quality texts, both fiction and non-fiction.The children widen their comprehension skills by referring to the text in their answers, making connections, clarifying for meaning, asking questions about the text and summarising texts.

Phonics Workshop

The information below was shared during a workshop delivered in school to parents/carers. This covers both teaching in school and how parents/carers can support phonics learning at home.