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Wickham Church of England Primary School

Love, Courage and Respect

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Early Reading and Phonics


The teaching of phonics is an essential component of the teaching of early reading. There are two dimensions to reading – ‘word recognition’ and ‘language comprehension’. Our learning activities develop these two dimensions in parallel to help children become fluent readers. We use the DfE’s ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme to structure our phonics teaching.


When children begin to learn to read they have already made considerable progress in their language development. High-quality phonic teaching secures the crucial skills of word recognition that, once mastered, enable children to read fluently. Parents will see that the balance between word recognition and language comprehension shifts as children acquire secure and automatic decoding skills and progress from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’ for purpose and pleasure.


The ultimate goal of learning to read is comprehension as a skill for life.


Our Online Learning site provides children and parents with access to some useful phonics resources and games. We also use Bug Club to facilitate the teaching of reading throughout the school which children can access from home using their log in. This enables children to read, answer questions and complete reading activities.


How you can help your child with reading


  • Make reading an enjoyable activity which you can share together
  • Read with you child regularly.  Set aside a special quiet time of the day for reading and sharing books ( about 10-15 mins)
  • Look at the Reading Target sheet for your child’s book band colour in the front of this book and work together on the target marked with an arrow. Ask questions relating to the target with a range of books.
  • Book introduction: What do you think the book is about?  Look at the ‘blurb.’
  • Strategy Check: Encourage your child to use phonics, read onto the end of the sentence, use the picture for clues, what does the word mean?  Guess the meaning from what has been read, check in a dictionary
  • Prediction: From the book cover, what do you think the book will be about? After reading section, what do you think will happen next?
  • Discuss the text: What are the main points? What has happened?  Why did a particular character behave or do a specific thing?  Why did the writer use this word? Who is the most important character and why? What do you think of the layout? What was your least favourite/favourite part? Why?
  • Visit and join a local library
  • Read a broad  range of books to and with your child, fiction and non-fiction, to show that you can both enjoy reading
  • Involve your child in any reading you do and show them that reading is enjoyable and important
  • Buy books as presents
  • Help your child to see that READING IS FUN !!




Our writing curriculum is based around the use of 'Rich Texts'. Teachers carefully select a text which has high quality language, structure and literary effect. The children are then immersed in this text, looking at key features which make it effective. Writing activitites including extended pieces of writing are then planned using this text. We are keen to write for real audiences and often recieve replies to our letters, stories and other writing which we do.


Below is an outline of how we teach the skills of communication, reading and writing at Wickham Church of England Primary. There is also information about how we teach SPAG at school with a help guide for the terminology your child will be using. Please also look at the 'Recommended Reading List' in our Library section of the website, to see what texts your child could read at home to support their learning.


As a school we follow the Hampshire model for the planning and assessment of English skills. This is attached below.