Phonics and Reading

The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage


What is phonics?

Words are made up of sounds called phonemes.  Phonics teaches children to listen carefully to each sound in the word so that they can begin to use them for reading and spelling.

Children are taught the skills of blending (sounding out each sound in order to combine them together to read a word) and segmenting (break up the sounds in a word to help them write it).

Why do we teach phonics?

There is a lot of research to support the view that phonics is the most effective way of teaching children to learn to read.  By providing them with the skills to tackle new words they can become fluent readers.

How do we teach phonics?

At Colnbrook, children in Reception and Year 1 and if required Year 2, take part in a 20 minutes  phonics lesson each day.  We teach phonics using the Read Write Inc. scheme of learning.  In addition to phonics lessons, children have class reading and guided reading to help support them practice these phonics skills and develop a love of reading.

How can I support my child?

Please find below the link to the Phonics webinar that we held in Autumn 2023 around Read Write Inc Phonics and how to support children at home with phonics.

Phonics Workshop Video

If you would like to support your child in their phonics learning, here are some great websites our children love using:



Support reading

All children, starting from Nursery, are encouraged to select books from the classroom, library or home to share with their parents to encourage a love of reading.

Once children have a secure knowledge of letter/sound correspondences and can blend words confidently, they access our Book Banded reading scheme which consists of books from a variety of published schemes, such as; Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Stars and Alpha Kids. Each book band contains a variety of fiction and non-fiction books to provide our children with experience of reading a variety of genres.

Once children are able to read fluently, confidently and with a good understanding they move on to free readers which can be selected from class collections, the school library, local library or home.

If you would like free access to some fantastic eBooks, why not visit There are over 260 books for you to read with your child at home and with lots of ideas on how to support your child with reading.

Teaching reading

Comprehension and reading sessions take place for all classes from Year 1 to Year 6. We focus on the key skills needed for reading and understanding. Pupils in Year 3 to 6 participate in Accelerated Reader sessions daily. This allows children the opportunity to read a wide range of texts and take an online quiz to check their understanding.

Supporting your child

Please find below the link to the Reading webinar that we held in Autumn 2023 on ways to support children at home with reading.

Reading Workshop Video

Reading regularly at home is essential to help children progress. We encourage parents to read with children daily, either sharing a book together, reading to a child, or listening to them read.

Click below for recommended book lists for each year group.

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6