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.


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. Once children are confident in their phonetic knowledge, spelling, punctuation and grammar skills are focussed on.


Children participate in a wide range of reading activities to develop their skills. Children take part in Guided Reading Sessions in which they are taught further reading skills to enable them to understand and analyse texts in a variety of ways. Reading resources, including books, are carefully pitched to children’s reading ability.


We strongly promote the reading of additional materials to broaden children’s knowledge of literature. We take part in a range of book related activities. The ‘Reading Rockets’ are a pupil voice group that lead on reading activities throughout the year.


We love reading at Millfield! 

We have aligned our teaching of reading with Jane Considine's 'Hooked on Books' approach. During the week, children take part in 'Book Talk' a whole class guided reading session. In 'Book Talk' sessions you will find our children reading by themselves, reading with a partner, reading as a whole class or listening to the class teacher model reading.


Children use the 'Reading Rainbow' to read and respond to texts through different lenses within 3 different zones of reading: The Fantastics, The Stylistics and The Analytics. Book Talk is key to developing oracy skills. Children collaborate in groups using sentence stems and high utility words to develop a Book Talk response. Children also complete comprehension tasks when working independently.

Reading Scheme

The main reading scheme is ‘Oxford Reading Tree’, which is colour banded. At Millfield, we have also developing our range of 'Read, Write Inc' books to further support phonics teaching and learning; these books are also banded. Children are assessed using RWI and Miscues where they are monitored on their fluency and comprehension skills, which links to the colour bands. Children are read with every day and are supplied with reading materials to take home. 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.
Guided reading takes place every week in small groups. The sessions include reading with an adult, working on segmenting and blending skills, comprehension, predicting and sequencing.

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.
Guided reading is taught weekly with a focus on developing comprehension through inference skills, explaining, sequencing, understanding vocabulary and retrieving information. At the end of Year 2 children take a statutory reading test to support the teacher to monitor their reading fluency and comprehension.

Year 3 and Year 4: 

If required, Key Stage 2 children continue to secure their phonetic knowledge in small groups. In daily SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) lessons, the children continue to learn and develop spelling and grammar rules to support their reading and writing.
Guided reading is taught weekly through whole class guided reading sessions and small guided reading groups, which is tailored to the children’s needs. 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.