Reading, Phonics and Spelling

Early Reading and Phonics

At Church Langton, we place the highest importance on providing all children with a structured approach to learning to read from the moment they start at our school. In EYFS and Year One, we use a phonics programme called Sounds-Write. It is a highly regarded linguistics programme that begins with sounds in the language and moves from sounds to the written word. Children, in their daily phonics sessions, are taught conceptual knowledge and skills that enable them to say the sounds and read the words. The programme begins by teaching an ‘Initial Code’.

During this phase, the children learn that:

sounds can be represented by spellings with one letter

that some spellings are written with a double consonant

some spellings are written with two different letters

Once the children are confident with applying this understanding in their reading and spelling, they move onto the ‘Extended Code’ towards the end of EYFS. During this phase, the children learn:

a spelling can represent more than one sound

the most common sounds represented by the target spelling

how to manipulate alternative sounds in and out of words

This phase lasts throughout Year 1 and the skills they learn will continue to be applied in their reading and spelling  well beyond this time. Throughout the programme, close links are made between reading and spelling.

Please follow this link to download the parent guide for Sounds Write.

Sounds- Write leaflet for parents

Teaching phonics using sounds at Church Langton




We pride ourselves on our strong reading culture at our school. Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum. Our English lessons are centred around a range of high quality children books. We link spoken language, reading and writing in order that children can become more confident in all areas of the curriculum.

Reading is taught throughout the school and develops from phonics awareness and understanding in Reception through to guided reading and reading comprehension in year 6.  Below you can find a map of the reading a journey a child will undertake through our school.  Throughout this journey the children are taught using reading keys (please see below).  These keys develop and are added to in key stage 2 but the key terminology and language is kept the same.  This is crucial to the children’s understanding of what skills are needed in order to be successful readers and decoders of texts.

Children have daily opportunities to read. At times, they read individually, in pairs, in small groups or as a whole class. The reading curriculum focuses on word reading (decoding words) and understanding of texts (comprehension). We teach these skills alongside each other. Opportunities are planned into our lessons for children to discuss what they are reading, share opinions and explore different responses to texts.

We have a lovely library where pupils can select their own books. Each classroom also has a reading area and its own stock of books for children to read.



The regularity of reading at home has a significant impact on the progress and confidence a child can develop in their reading. We ask for pupils to read each night and our home school planner is used to record and share their progress. Our reading reward scheme promotes the importance of regular reading with achievements shared each week.

Keys to Comprehension KS2 poster

Keys to Comprehension KS1 poster



Foundation stage and Key stage 1


In this phase of the school our spelling focus is placed primarily on phonics and is embedded in conjunction with a handwriting programme.  Our phonics programme is Sounds-Write and this is performed on a daily basis with children.

Reception have reading books linked to their phonics learning.  Within these books there are phonics sounds which the children can work on at home and practice. Year one are also going to be given phonics sounds to work on.  At the same time they will be tested termly on a list of exception words.  Lists of these words can be requested from your class teacher.  Year 2 will also be given out phonics sounds depending on different children’s needs.

Key stage 2

At our school we use Word Study as our programme to develop the children’s understanding of different rules and patterns. This scheme allows children to explore the etymology of words and to explore the different components that make up the majority of spelling rules that they will come across and was produced by English experts within our Trust. This scheme also encapsulates the lists of common exception words that are statutory to the curriculum.  Children in key stage 2 are tested termly on these statutory words to enable retrieval of these key exemptions to the normal spelling rules.  Outcomes from these tests will also be shared with parents on a termly basis so that a collaborative approach can be taken between school and home.  Alongside Word Study the school subscribes to Spelling Frame so that children can have access to fun and interactive activities to cement their newly gained knowledge.




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