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Phonics and Reading Curriculum

At Sherwood Park we value reading as a key life skill. We believe that reading provides pupils with a purpose and context for writing and develops their ability to speak and listen.

Pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, to gain knowledge across the curriculum and develop their comprehension skills. It is our intention to ensure that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to use their knowledge, skills and understanding to read fluently, and with confidence, across a range of different subjects in order to succeed in their forthcoming secondary education and the wider world. 

Our primary aims are:

  • To teach children to read with confidence, fluency and understanding.
  • To develop enthusiastic, motivated and reflective readers, through contact with challenging and quality texts.
  • To encourage a love of literature and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure.
  • To develop children’s confidence in reading a wide variety of genres and text types.
  • To equip children with the skills needed to decode words, in order to be able to read fluently and with understanding of what they have read.
  • To provide children with a consistent phonics approach as a basis for their English learning and continuous development.
  • To enable children to become confident, independent readers, through an appropriate focus on phonics, word, sentence and text-level knowledge.


All children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 are taught whole-class daily phonics lessons following the principles of Letters and Sounds. Phases 1 to 6 are taught through a variety of approaches and recognised programmes, including elements of Phonics Play and suggested activities and games as outlined in the Letters and Sounds document. The Jolly Phonics approach is also used alongside Letters and Sounds in Nursery and Reception to help children grasp the letter sounds quickly by learning simple actions. In order that all children become readers as quickly as possible, the alphabetic code is taught first with children learning new sounds and practising the pronunciation and blending of these sounds on a daily basis. The books children read are then carefully matched to the sounds they know. 

Expectations and Resources for Remote Learning

During a period of remote learning, it is expected that children will continue to read at home for 10-20 minutes at least four times a week. You should continue to record each time your child reads in their Reading Record. Your child should read their home-school reading book, books/reading materials at home or, alternatively, they can access free online eBooks on the Oxford Owl website: https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/find-a-book/library-page/.

Reading Scheme

At Sherwood Park, all our reading books are colour banded.  Your child will be given a colour band to choose their home reading book from which will help to ensure that the book they select is at the appropriate reading level for them. Each coloured book band is further sub-levelled to ensure that there is clear progression within each coloured band. A wide range of reading schemes, such as Jelly and Bean, Phonics Bug, Project X, Songbirds and Traditional Tales, are included in each coloured band. This is to ensure that the children experience a range of stories, text types and illustrations. To continue to embed and promote a love of reading throughout the school, the children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 are also encouraged to take home a library book that they can borrow from their class library.

Once children move beyond Lime book band, they can have a free choice of books from their class library (‘Free Reader’). Those children working in Key Stage 2 who are working below age expectations will be supported through interventions and schemes appropriate to the child's needs. This includes a continuation of scheme books beyond Lime book band, as well as other schemes aimed at supporting older children with their reading skills.

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