The Spinney Primary School

Teaching and Learning Together

The Spinney Primary School

Teaching and Learning Together

Early Reading

Phonics and Early Reading


Phonics teaching is a vital part of English. At The Spinney Primary School we aim to teach children fluent word reading skills and provide a good foundation in spelling from the earliest opportunity.


Phonics teaching involves teaching the children to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes; to identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘sh’  or ‘oo’ and to blend letter sounds together from left to right to make a word.


At The Spinney Primary School, the Early Years and Key Stage 1 teachers use the ‘Story Time Phonics’ programme alongside a wide range of wonderful real books to teach phonics. The ‘StoryTime Phonics’ programme is a systematic synthetic program which is underpinned by ‘Letters and Sounds’ and uses real books to broaden the childrens’ exposure to high quality texts and to develop a love for books


In Foundation Stage, phonics is taught daily so that children can build up and practise the skills they need to use in reading and writing. Children are introduced to phonemes (sounds) linked to the letters of the alphabet, as well as one way of spelling each of the other 16 phonemes used in the English language, such as 'igh' and 'ch'. Children are taught to blend or sound out phonics to read a variety of words and segment or break down the sounds in simple words for spelling. ‘Story Time Phonics’ gives children a caption action for each sound, which supports children who learn in an active way.


In Year 1, children learn more about the variety of ways in which each phoneme can be spelled and they also learn about the different pronunciations made by different letters or groups of letters, such as 'a' in 'ant' and 'was'. At the end of Year 1, children will be tested on their phonics knowledge, using a national test featuring 20 real words and 20 pseudo-words (nonsense).

From Year 2 onwards, children consolidate their phonics knowledge, learning when to apply different spelling rules as well as how to spell plurals and different verb tenses.

Rationale for the selection of StoryTime phonics

The Spinney Reading Spine


We want our school to be a place where children are read to, enjoy, discuss and work with high quality books. These ‘essential reads’ would be a store of classics, creating a living library inside a child’s mind. This is the ‘Reading Spine’. We have provided the Pie Corbett reading spine in our classrooms so that children have access to these high quality texts.



EYFS Reading Spine

Year 1 Reading Spine

Year 2 Reading Spine