Phonics and Reading

At Sherwood Primary School the children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 take part in a 20-minute phonics session each day. Our daily phonics lessons follow the guidance set out in Letters and Sounds, which was published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. Phonics sessions aim to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right, as well as to prepare children for learning to read and write by developing their phonic knowledge.

We value reading as an essential part of children's learning at Sherwood.  From when they begin school in Foundation, the children are given a reading book which they take home on a daily basis to read with parents. When parents have listened to their child read, they write a comment in the accompanying reading diary. In addition to this, the children take part in regular focussed guided reading sessions. Children who are below age-related expectations in reading, will also have additional reading sessions each week with an adult in school.

Our Reading Scheme begins with Phonics Phase 1 (Lilac Band) in EYFS with wordless books and those with simple decodable words and short phrases. The scheme then follows the Phonics Phases in Letters and Sounds through Pink Band (Phase 2) to Lime Band (Phase 6).

Along their reading journey through the Book Bands, the children will be provided with opportunities to practise their decoding skills (aligned to Letters and Sounds), improve their reading fluency and to deepen their comprehension skills whilst reading a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts.  As they become more fluent and confident readers, the scheme also provides texts that will: build their reading stamina; provide challenge; and introduce the children to wider reading for pleasure and interest across the curriculum, developing higher-order comprehension skills which will prepare them for the Sherwood Reading Pathways.

For those children who need to further develop their reading skills before undertaking a Pathway, there are texts that are age-appropriate and matched to their reading ability in the Copper and Topaz Band, and the Further Readers section of the scheme.

Examples of the reading schemes we use are:

  • Oxford Reading Tree;
  • Project X;
  • Collins Big Cats;
  • Pearson Phonics Bug;
  • Rising Stars.

In Key Stage 2, when the children are ready for the next step on their reading journey, they select a book from our Reading Pathways.

Each book in the Pathways, has been carefully selected to provide the children with a broad and engaging reading experience – we have chosen books from our literary heritage, well-loved authors and award-winning fiction. There are four Pathways and three stages in each Pathway. When the children complete all 10 books in a Pathway, they receive a certificate to recognise their reading achievement. These have been a very popular addition to our reading journey. 

In addition, each child is given the opportunity to take home a library book, and we have recently further enhanced our reading offer, with class sets of non-fiction texts to support learning across the curriculum.

For more information about our Reading Pathways and Top Tips for reading at home please click here:We Are Reading


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Sherwood Primary School, Sherwood Way, Fulwood, Preston, PR2 9GA

Mrs J Maddock | Tel: 01772 719093 | Email: