Well done to our Y6 for coming through SATs week so well. Y6 camp meeting on Thurs 23rd Click on the 'Projects' box to see the latest projects in school. Click on the Classes tab to see what learning is going on at the moment.

Phonics and Early Reading

Phonics and Early Reading at Indian Queens Primary School

It is essential that our approach to teaching phonics and reading is accessible to all learners, regardless of background.

At Indian Queens Primary School, we passionately believe in giving every child the opportunity to become a successful reader. We strive to ensure that all children can read confidently, fluently, accurately and with good understanding from the earliest possible age, regardless of their background, need or ability. We prioritise mastering the early reading skills as we recognise that these are the vital foundations for developing strong word recognition, reading fluency and deepened understanding. We are committed to giving our children the strategies needed to access a whole world of books, and therefore a lifetime of enjoyment as we nurture them into becoming avid lifelong readers.

We ensure that we are providing all children with a high-quality phonics education so that they are equipped with the strong foundations which can be built upon as they grow into confident, successful readers and writers. This process begins as soon as the children enter our Nursery setting, where children follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds phonics programme. Children in our Nursery setting take part in Rhyme time and our 'Love of reading' programme, which helps develop their oracy and knowledge of high quality vocabulary through a range of high-quality texts. 

In our Nursery, we teach seven aspects: environmental, instrumental, body percussion, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds, and oral blending and segmenting are taught. These are some of the earliest building blocks in their Early Reading learning journey. We use games and stories to supplement the teaching of our phonics sessions. 

Phonics (reading and spelling)

At Indian Queens Primary School, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised (this link leads you to the parent pages) which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Nursery and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.

As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Indian Queens Primary School, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside  the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

Daily Taught Phonics Session 

The reading, including the teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics, is taught from the beginning of Reception. Foundations for Phonics is taught from Nursery, embedding skills that will be aid phonics learning from Reception and beyond. 

What is Phonics?

Words are made up from small units of sound called phonemes. Phonics teaches children to be able to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children to read words and to spell words using the corresponding graphemes (the written corresponding sound).  The children  progress onto digraphs and trigraphs: sounds made  up of two letters such as -ch, -sh, -th and three letters, such as -igh, -our. 


Our ongoing, 6-weekly assessment of children’s phonics progress is sufficiently frequent and detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind the programme’s pace. If any child does fall behind, targeted support is given immediately through daily 'keep up' sessions.

Each day in your child’s phonic lesson, they will be introduced to a new phoneme as well as revise previously taught phonemes. They will then be encouraged to recognise and use these phonemes in their reading and writing. 

Supporting your Child with Reading

Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.

There are two types of reading book that your child will bring home in their Book Bag:

A reading practice book. This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently. 

Sharing books.  Your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together.

Reading Practice Book

This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.

Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.

Your child will be given this reading practice book on a Wednesday and need to return it to school the following Monday. They will have read this book three times in school on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with a trained class teacher or teaching assistant. Each read focuses on a specific element of reading. The first read focuses on decoding the text, the second read focuses on fluency and prosody (intonation and expression) and the third read allows for discussion and comprehension skills. By the time the children bring this book home, they should be reading it at a 95% fluency rate. 

Re-reading and mastering a book gives children the confidence to continue with their reading. They also understand the book at a deeper level and begin to develop their knowledge of new vocabulary. Their home reading book should not be difficult or a challenge as it is matched to their specific phonics level based on their most recent assessment. 

Sharing Book

In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together.

Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!

We encourage children to change their sharing book as often as possible, even daily if they wish!  

Ensuring Reading for Pleasure

‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)

‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010)

We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.

  •  We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Indian Queens Primary School and our local community, as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
  • Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books.
  • Children from Reception onwards have a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school.
  • As the children progress through the school, they are encouraged to write their own comments and keep a list of the books/authors that they have read.
  • We subscribe to Cornwall Education Library Service, giving us regular book exchanges, a wide range of topic books and resources and two visits a year from a librarian to audit and resource our provision.
  • Our school library is a wonderful asset, made available for classes to use regularly.
  • Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events, such as book fairs, author visits and workshops, national events...
Whole class reading
Every class from Nursery to Year 6 has a 'class reader'. This is a text chosen specifically for the ages and interests of the children in the cohort. The children have an opportunity to vote for the class reader they want to read and participate in 'book talk' when the class reader is finished.
The class reader is read every day for 20 minutes. The class teacher reads the book to the children and they are simply allowed to sit back and enjoy! This is some of our children's favourite part of the school day.
You may find these resources helpful when supporting your child with reading at home. You can also access the Little Wandle website and click on the 'for parents' section for guidance videos and further resources.

Indian Queens Primary School & Nursery
School website design by eSchools. Content provided by Indian Queens Primary School & Nursery. All rights reserved. 2024