Phonics & Reading

Phonics & Reading

At Cottingley Primary Academy we believe that reading is the key to unlocking learning. We therefore ask all children to commit, via our home school agreement, to reading at home every day for at least 10 minutes (and preferably with an adult). Each child has a reading diary and this should be completed daily as a record of their home learning with reading; the class teacher will check this each morning so please feel free to pop any notes / questions you have about your child's reading progress in here.


Daily phonics lessons

In school we follow Read, Write, Inc for our phonics lessons. Every class teacher in Early Years and KS1, and some class teachers in KS2, along with some of our Learning Support Leaders, deliver streamed daily phonics lessons. If your child takes part in Read, Write, Inc and you'd like to know more about it, please speak to Mrs Blades who will be more than happy to help.

Phonics catch up

We also use the 1-2-1 tutoring kit in KS1 and LKS2, along with the Fresh Start intervention in Years Five and Six, to help any pupils catch up who are finding phonics difficult. We use our in school assessment systems to identify children who need these programmes but if you feel your child may benefit from extra support then please speak to Miss Kear or Miss Tosh who will listen and try to build in the extra that your child needs.

Additional resources

To supplement the teaching of phonics we have a number of additional resources available in school:

Floppy's Phonics books and software

Sounds and Letters books

Project X books

Jolly Phonics mnemonics

Again, if you have any questions on this then please ask Mrs Blades.

What happens next?

As your child completes their work on Phase 5 phonics (expected by the end of Y1) they will move on to the Read, Write, Inc spelling programme, called Language and Literacy, to learn more about spelling strategies, patterns and rules.

Parent workshops and helping your child

We run a series of workshops throughout the school year to help you to be able to support your child with their phonics and spelling - please keep your eye out for letters and Marvellous Mes regarding this.

We understand that it can be tricky to know how to support your child with phonics, especially if it isn't the strategy that you used when you learned to read, so, for help with phoneme pronunciation, and guidance on some of the terminology your child might use, please log on to:

The phonics screening check

At the end of Y1, each child is required to sit the phonics screening check. If your child is in Y1 you will be provided with lots of information regarding this throughout the year but to support with any questions you might have now then please check out the link below:


Following the end of Read, Write, Inc phonics (usually at the end of Key Stage 1), the children move on to the Read, Write, Inc spelling programme.

In Key Stage 2, children will complete spelling activities to learn about different spelling rules and patterns in class. They will then bring home a list of 10-15 spellings to learn each week.

For the National Curriculum Years 3 and 4 and Year 5 and 6 spelling lists, please see the links below.

A useful website to practise spellings at home is:

Home Reading Routines

Up to the end of the Early Learning Goals (ELG) – Usually Nursery and Reception

Until children have met the Early Learning Goals (usually nursery and reception) they will be given two books to take home each week. One book will link directly to their phonics teaching, the other will be free choice from the academy’s Early Years Library.

Every time your child starts a new level of book you will be provided with a set of flashcards for the corresponding sounds and also a set of key word flashcards. Please use these at home with your child to help them progress more quickly with their reading. If you have any questions regarding this, please feel free to speak to any member of our early years team.

After completion of ELG to the end of RWI phonics – Usually Year 1 and 2

Each child will be given four reading books a week –this is to ensure that there is plenty of reading material in the home for your child to practise a variety of reading skills with.

1) Floppy’s Phonics or Songbirds book. These books are phonically decodable and will match the phase of phonics teaching that your child is currently working on. This will help them to apply their phonics learning in the home. Every time your child starts a new level of book you will be provided with a set of flashcards for the corresponding sounds and also a set of key word flashcards. Please use these at home to help your child progress more quickly with their reading.

2) An Oxford Reading Tree scheme book. This is the scheme we work through to help develop reading comprehension and high frequency words. Each week you will be provided with a comprehension sheet to accompany that week’s book to help your child to develop basic comprehension skills. These sheets do not need to be returned to school; they are not formal homework although we appreciate that you may wish send them in to share with the class teacher and this is welcomed.

3) A colour banded book .Children choose this book themselves from a colour level that has been matched to their ability by the teacher. This ensures that your child is developing skills of choosing their own texts for their own enjoyment (but the fact that they are colour coded also ensures that your child obtains a degree of success in their free choice reading; hopefully encouraging them to read more for pleasure).

4) A free choice library book - each class visits the library once a week and each child is able to borrow one book. This can be anything at all - we aim for all children to LOVE reading and want to provide opportunities for them to experience reading materials they might not otherwise have access to. We do not worry if this book is too hard - sometimes children just want to choose the biggest book they can find (or the one with the most exciting pictures!). We use our library to foster a love of reading.

Following the end of RWI phonics – Usually the end of Y2 upwards

When children reach the end of RWI phonics they will move on to our free choice reading system, Accelerated Reader. Each child will sit an on-line test which will give them a 'ZPD' (a numerical range from which they can choose their own reading book). They will then have free choice over their reading book within this range (with a little guidance from the teacher if required). Each time they complete a text, they will be able to sit a web based comprehension quiz to assess their learning. Children earn points for each quiz they take and these points turn into... PRIZES! You are also able to track your child's progress with quizzes through the use of AR Home Connect:

For more information on Accelerated Reader please see:

To check whether or not a book is suitable for a child's ZPD, please log on to:

When children are selecting books from AR they also choose a book from our school library so that they have two reading books at home. Again, their library book is completely free choice and aims to promote a love for reading.

Our main aim is to encourage children to love reading. Therefore, we encourage them to read a wide variety of texts: leaflets, magazines, comics, brochures, catalogues, road signs, cereal boxes, even subtitles on the television!

Resilient Reader

In school, we are all becoming “Resilient Readers”.

To support your child, please encourage them to find the “gist” of every text they read by answering:

Who? What? Where? When? Why?

100 Book Challenge

By following the links below, you can find 100 suggested fiction books that children should be reading at each stage.

In Year 5 and 6, the children are invited to take part in the “100 Book Challenge” by reading books from the Y5/6 list. For every 10 books that they read, they will be awarded a brand new book to keep!