Early Reading and Phonics

Early Reading at Mickley First School


We use the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme across school.  This commences when a child enters our setting and continues until they are confidently using all the sounds up to the end of phase 6.

This is delivered as follows:

End of Nursery – Children are confident within phase 1 and most children can recognise the phase 2 initial letter sounds.

Reception (end of term 1) – Children are confident using the phase 2 sounds

Reception (end of term 2) – Children are confident using the phase 3 sounds

Reception (end of term 3) – Children are confident with the phase 4 blends ready to start phase 5 on entry to Year 1.

Year 1 – Re-cap phase 3 and 4 and then develop confidence with phase 5 before the end of the year.

Year 2 – Our aim is to ensure all children are confident in Letters and Sounds (phase 6) by the end of year 2.


We have devised a termly assessment for all children to track phonics progress.  This allows us to quickly identify any children who need additional support / intervention.  Our Year 1 phonics screening pass rate is currently 91% and in recent years has been between 90-95%.


We recognise that early intervention is the key to ensuring that children make the progress that they are capable of.  We introduce early intervention where children have not made the progress that is expected of them within a given timescale. 



We listen to all children read in school at least once a week.  We encourage the children to develop a range of strategies to help support their phonics skills and support staff and volunteers receive the apporpriate training so that they can support early reading effectively.

Class teachers read with the children from Reception to the end of Year 2 at least fortnightly so that they can ensure that they are reading a book that is appropriate to their reading age and phonics stage.


We use the Salford Reading Test to assess all children on a half-termly basis.  From Year 1, we also assess comprehension using the Rising Stars half-termly assessments.


Children are given additional reading sessions where needed.  Research proves that reading regularly increases reading fluency so we encourage parents and carers to read regularly with their child at home and we plan in additional school sessions where required.  We also work closely with Northumbria University and take ‘Boosting Reading Placements’ during the Autumn term which has had a positive impact on reading fluency in recent years.


Developing a Love of Reading

At Mickley, we provide a range of additional opportunities for children to engage with books / reading.  We subscribe to the School’s Library Service to ensure that the books available in school are currrent and matched to the children’s interests.  Staff share books daily with all classes and model reading with fluency and expression.  Some of the additonal activites we have offered in the last school year to further promote reading enjoyment are:

  • World Book Day – dressing up as book characters and taking part in book day themed activities.
  • Reading challenges both in school and at home.  The feedback from the last challenge was very positive from both parents and children and we hope to introduce a further challenge in the Summer term.
  • Topic-themed books from the library service provide additional reading books for children to explore.  This provides challenge as the vocabulary is often unfamiliar.  We encourage them to find out the meaning of new words.
  • Library area maintained by pupil librarians and input from School Council regarding book purchases.
  • Library and author visits