Reading with your Child (including phonics)

In Early Years and  Year 1  we use a scheme called 'StoryTime Phonics' to teach children how to read. We use Real Books, and a variety of reading scheme books including Oxford Reading Tree and Rigby Star.

What is StoryTime Phonics?

StoryTime Phonics is a highly engaging, multisensory programme which helps children to learn to read and write. Each sound is introduced with a high-quality real book and an exciting, immersive opportunity.

What do the children learn in StoryTime Phonics?

In the reception year, phonics is taught daily and children are introduced to phonemes (sounds) linked to the letters of the alphabet, as well as one way of spelling each of the other 16 phonemes used in the English language, such as 'igh' and 'ch'. Children are taught to blend words (c-a-t = cat) to read and segment words (pig = p-i-g) to spell. StoryTime Phonics has a caption and action for each sound, to help the children to remember it.

In Year 1, children learn more about the variety of ways in which each phoneme can be spelled and they also learn about the different pronunciations made by different letters or groups of letters, such as ‘ea’ in bead and head. At the end of Year 1, children will be assessed on their phonics knowledge, using a national assessment featuring 20 real words and 20 pseudo-words (nonsense).

Helpful Resources

You may find the following resources useful, please speak to your child’s teacher if you would like more guidance in ways to support your child and their learning at home.


Websites and games

-        Log in to Education City – there are lots of phonics games

-        Phonics - KS1 English - BBC Bitesize

-        Phonics games (

-        PhonicsPlay - Resources

-        The Alphablocks guide to phonics - CBeebies - BBC

-        Phonics Games for the Classroom and Home - Phonics Bloom


Tricky Troll Words

StoryTime Phonics introduces the Tricky Troll, from ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ who likes to try and trick children with words that they can’t read or spell using their phonics.

In Reception, children should read and spell words in Phase 2 and 3 and be beginning to read Phase 4 words.

In Year 1, children should read and spell words in Phase 2-5.

Sound Mats

These are the sound mats we use in school to help children when they are writing. They may useful for practising at home.

Parents  / carers of children in the Early Years may like to view this Sway presentation/video (below) , written by our teachers, about early reading. 
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Research proves that children who enjoy reading do better at school in all subjects

Reading together increases literacy skills and does so much more - it helps to build a strong and loving relationship with your child. And it's never too early to start reading with your child!  Below are some simple ideas to make reading fun at home.

Set aside some time

Find somewhere quiet without any distractions - turn off the TV/radio/computer.

Ask your child to choose a book

Sharing books they have chosen shows you care what they think and that their opinion matters and they are more likely to engage with the book.

Sit close together

Encourage your child to hold the book themselves and/or turn the pages.

Point to the pictures

If there are illustrations and relate them to something your child knows. Ask them to describe the characters or situation or what will happen next. Encourage them to tell you the story by looking at the pictures.

Encourage your child to talk about the book

Talking about the characters and their dilemmas helps children understand relationships and is an excellent way for you to get to know each other or discuss difficult issues. Give your child plenty of time to respond. Ask them what will happen next, how a character might be feeling or how the book makes them feel.

And lastly and above all - make it fun!

It doesn't matter how you read with a child, as long as you both enjoy the time together. Don't be afraid to use funny voices, children love this!