Corporation Road, Sunderland, Tyne And Wear SR2 8PL

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  1. Key Stage 1 & 2
  2. Phonics and Early Reading

Phonics and Early Reading


Phonics and Early Reading

What is phonics?


Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds to blend words together and read them, for example, c-a-t.


What phonics scheme do we use ?

At Valley Road Academy we currently use the Letters and Sounds Programme to teach phonics. We follow this programme consistently in order to teach the children to read effectively.

Letters and Sounds is divided into Phases from 1-6. Some online resources to support Letters and Sounds will also be grouped this way. Your child’s teacher will let you know which phase your child is working in.


How often will my child be taught phonics?

Children from Reception to Year 2 will have a phonics lesson twice a day for approximately 30 minutes. The skills learned in this lesson will then be followed up in other English lessons. Children in KS2, who are still learning to read, will also have twice daily phonics lessons.



When does my child start learning to read?

Phonics teaching begins in Reception as soon as the children enter school.

In Nursery the children will learn pre-reading skills that support the introduction of phonics lessons in Reception.


When will my child first bring a reading book home?

 As your child is introduced to letters and they begin to blend simple words together they will bring a reading book home. It is important for your child to bring books home that they can read independently and this will then make them feel confident and successful.

What reading scheme does the school follow?

The scheme we use is called ‘Phonics Bug’.

The book your child will bring home will be from this scheme and it will be selected by your child’s class teacher based on their knowledge of letters and words. Once your child becomes more confident with their reading they will be sent a variety of books from a variety of authors.


What can I do to help when reading at home?

  • Read lots of stories to your child. This is the best support you can provide at all ages!!
  • When reading their book, encourage your child to sound out words that they find hard to read.
  • Look at the instructions in the front of the book and find the ‘tricky’ words that the children will need to practise before reading – these are words they will not be able to sound out.
  • Practise the book more than once. Your child will develop their growing knowledge of words by reading them over and over in familiar books.

Where can I get more information to support my child’s reading?

  • Teachers will provide regular updates on what your child is learning in phonics and how you can help.
  • Speak to your child’s class teacher. Staff are always happy to discuss your child’s learning with you.