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John Ray Infant School

John RayInfant School

Reading and Phonics at John Ray Infants


At John Ray Infant School we aim to promote a lifelong positive attitude towards reading. Reading is the key to opening the door to knowledge and it is our role to develop a love of reading from the moment the children join us.

Our children have access to a wide range of high quality fiction and non-fiction reading books. The books the children bring home are matched to their needs as a reader. This includes not only their phonics skills at the start of their reading journey but also their comprehension, inference and fluency skills.

We use a wide range of Reading schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Collins Big Cat and Bug Club.

In Foundation Stage the children have access to a range of different books that support their phonic decoding skills and their fluency with tricky words. The books have high quality illustrations and the mix of stories and information enables them to choose books that match their interests as well as their needs. As the children move into Year 1 and 2, the books progress and deepen the children's knowledge of reading skills. We ensure that they are challenging in the breadth and depth of their content.

At John Ray Infants we want our children to develop a passion for reading. We make sure the children have access to high quality texts as part of their day to day learning and provide opportunities to borrow books to share at home. We encourage the children to visit the library regularly.

In September 2019, we introduced our Super 7 'Brilliant Books' across the school. Each class has 7 high quality stories specifically chosen by staff to encourage fluency and enjoyment. in Addition to this, we follow the 'Just Imagine'  Take One Book planning where children read whole class texts which encourages them to learn from others and compare and contrast opinions.

In Year Two, we stretch our most able readers through the Reading Gladiator intervention.


At the end of 2018/19, we reviewed the way we teach phonics and from September 2019, children in EYFS and Year One will be learning their phonics through the Storytime Phonics scheme

StoryTime Phonics follows the phases of the Letters and Sounds document. Alongside learning the sounds, the children are taught to read and write Tricky Troll and Fairy words (common high frequency words). They are taught the skills of blending sounds for reading and segmenting sounds for spelling. 

Phonics Glossary

These are some of the terms we use in Phonics in school – your children may come home and talk about them!

Phonics: how we teach your children to read

Blending: saying the sounds in a word then putting them back together to read it (e.g. c-a-t = cat)

Segmenting: saying the word then breaking it up to hear the sounds, to help with spelling (e.g. cat = c-a-t)

Phoneme: a unit of sound in a word – e.g. p, m, s, ai, sh

Grapheme: how a sound is spelt – e.g. the ‘ay’ sound can be spelt ‘a-I’ or ‘a-y’ or ‘a-e’

Digraph: two letters that make one sound – e.g. sh, ai, ee, oo

Trigraph: three letters that make one sound – e.g. air, ure, ear

Split digraph: two letters that make one sound but that are split by another letter – e.g. o-e in note, a-e in snake

Tricky Words: words that cannot be sounded out – e.g. said

Fairy Words: words that we can sound out that the children will see a lot