Phonics and Reading

Phonics and Reading

Our aim is to bring language alive for our children so that they develop a life-long love of reading and writing. We provide a broad and balanced English curriculum through our topic based project approach.


At St Levan School we use a systematic approach to teach children to read. Daily phonics sessions, taken from the Government’s Letters and Sounds programme, begin in the nursery where children are taught how to be good speakers and listeners and to make and differentiate between sounds. In the EYFS and KS1 children continue with daily phonics lessons, using the synthetic phonics approach which teaches them the pure sounds that individual and groups of letters make.


We make use of a range of engaging resources (including Read, Write, Inc; Jolly Phonics) and internet programs, to ensure that these sessions are fun and interactive for pupils.  At the same time as learning sounds, children are taught how to blend them together for reading and to segment them for spelling. These skills are practised in the variety of reading schemes we use at St Levan School which are chosen to help inspire children’s enthusiasm for reading. We primarily use books from Oxford Reading Tree and some from the Storyworlds, Lighthouse and Rigby Star schemes. These books are grouped into coloured “bands” which are closely matched to pupils’ current phonic attainment, allowing them to consolidate their existing skills whilst practising new ones.


Whilst we maintain a clear focus on giving all children the skills to read effectively, we are also committed to inspiring a love of reading in our pupils. Books, stories and poems are shared daily and our teachers make use of a variety of engaging texts across the curriculum. ‘Real’ Books are taken home so that parents can help by listening to, and reading with, their children. At St Levan School our aim is for all our children to become confident readers who engage with, and enjoy, the widest possible range of books and other reading material. We are ‘Gold’ members of the County book service which ensures we have a regular supply of new books and authors to encourage children’s breadth and frequency of reading. To further encourage children to read, children are invited to become Reading Karate Champions by reading regularly at home and progressing through the coloured bands.


Spoken Language forms an integral part of English teaching and learning but is also evident across the curriculum.  The children enjoy role-play and drama activities, culminating in Class Assemblies and our Christmas production at The Acorn Theatre.