Curriculum Details

Phonics and Early Reading

Essential Phonics Policy

Simple Guide to Phonics

At Holy Trinity we give high priority to the teaching and learning of phonics and early reading. 

Essential Phonics is a systematic, synthetic approach to phonics teaching and learning. It introduces children to the alphabetic code in a systematic and sequential way.

Essential Phonics is our unique approach to teaching phonics which is organised so that the children are taught from the simple to more complex graphemes. All the graphemes are taught in words, sentences and in fully decodable books which link to the child’s letter sound knowledge

This approach is carefully monitored by the KS1 Assistant Head Teacher. Children in Year 1 take a National Phonics Screening Test: we have consistently above national averages.

Please use the link below to hear how each letter sound is pronounced and the way they are taught to our children in school.

How to pronounce each letter sound correctly

Information about our approach can be found in the links below.

Phonics Long Term Plan

Handwriting Rhymes

Phonics Key Vocabulary

Phonics Word Lists

Basic Code - Cursive

Basic Code -Block Print

Alphabet Strip

Phonics Phase 2 Powerpoint Slides

Phase 2 Task Sheets


To develop early reading, we use books that are categorised into phases and sets of sounds which link to the child’s stage of learning and link to the sounds the children are learning during their phonics lessons.

During early reading development, the children are assessed regularly to identify the sounds they are secure on. This informs the choice of reading book the children will read in class. They read the book in class as a whole group and on an individual basis and then take the book home to share with their parents.

This approach enables the child to build confidence when reading the book throughout the week and then share this with their family at home at the weekend.

As we assess the children regularly we are able to identify the letter sounds the children are secure on and also provide support with the sounds they are unsure of helping the children to progress quickly and confidently with their letter sound knowledge.

Early reading is monitored regularly by the reading lead.


Reading within key stage 1 is done through supporting the child to break down the word, supporting them to become independent with their reading.

  • Guided Reading: using the key stage 1 grids for observations, answers and notes. This supports evidencing whether as children is working towards, ARE or greater depth with regards to the KS1 expectations.
  • Weekly reading: every child reads at least once a week but children identified as weak(er) will read more frequently depending on their ability.
  • Comprehension sheets for year 2 and this will be listed within the child’s verbal responses for year 1 and reception.  
  • Promoting a love of reading: creating a sense of enthusiasm, motivation and encouragement to want to read. This could be done through the use of: exploration of the school library; story time; certificates. 
  • Story time: class story that is shared throughout the week.
  • Diversity: A wide range of books that the children are exposed to e.g. comics; use of iPads; story sacks; audio books
  • Daily phonics sessions: weekly plan for phonics


  • Personal Development:

Each individual child has a school book in which is at their stage of learning based on the simple view of reading. Each child will have a reading age that is given using the Salford assessment resources; however, we recognise that although a child may have a good reading age, their comprehension may need development.  With these two in mind, a coloured ‘band’ is given to which the child can select from.  Each child is expected to read daily at home and will be organised based on their current level into daily and weekly readers within class.

  • Library Books:

Each child will also have a library book which can be at any level to aid enjoyment and spark interest in books.

  • Class Reading:

Each class will enjoy a class reading book which can be read at any interval and can be linked to their topic.

  • Guided Reading

KS2 use a template for recording comprehension answers and focuses on the main areas of reading and reading comprehension:

  • Reading clearly with expression
  • Summary
  • Understanding word meaning and words in a context
  • Information retrieval
  • Inference and deduction
  • Identifying themes
  • Prediction
  • Layout, language and structure and how these contribute to meaning

Reading Support

Reading opens many doors for children.  Sharing a story and sharing language can help your child understand the world better.  Did you know: reading comprehension relies heavily on background knowledge and vocabulary. We need to know a whopping 95% of the words in a text in order to comprehend it! Below are some resources that you may find useful to help boost the effectiveness of story and sharing time.



Reading for Pleasure: Recommended Reads

Reading Websites:

Amazon Free Kindle Books  

Books Trust 

Books for Topics suggested reading


Booktrust is an independent charity that works to bring together readers and books. It runs the books for babies project Bookstart, funded by Sainsbury’s. The site includes lots of information on books for children and adults, and book prizes.

Oak Academy

Virtual School Library | Oak Academy (

National Literacy Trust

National Literacy Trust Virtual School Library | Words for Life

Phonics Play

A very useful website for helping children from Reception to Lower Key Stage Two with decoding words through phonics.

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