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Guidance on reading for parents

Phonics Statement

Everybody knows that learning to read is a fundamental skill for life. This is why we value it so highly in school from the moment the children have their first experiences with us. 

EYFS: Phonological awareness


The development of phonological awareness is an essential pre requisite of both reading and writing. The starting point is oral language and this curriculum guidance works hand in hand with our curriculum for communication and language development. Developing young children’s awareness of words, syllables, rhymes and phonemes significantly increases their later success in learning to read and write.

Phonics helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language. Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of individual letters and how those letters sound when they’re combined helps children decode words as they read. Understanding phonics also helps children know which letters to use when they are writing words.


Phonics is taught using a structured regular approach suited to the ages and abilities of the children.

Initial emphases are on developing attention and listening skills to provide the foundation for all phonological awareness. This involves teaching children skills in listening, recalling and sequencing. Children will be discretly taught auditory and visual discrimination.  Children in Nursery begin with Letter and Sounds Phase 1 which provides a range of playful activities to develop listening and sound identification skills. Progress is regularly tracked. In addition, the enabling environment and adult interactions will give children opportunities to develop and practise specific skills.


As children move into Reception they continue to build upon these skills and are introduced to The Early Reading Programme. The programme is designed by Educational Psychologists and is based upon extensive research into the most effective ways of teaching reading. This is a systematic synthetic phonics programme designed to teach the first stages of reading (decoding) and spelling (encoding). We teach children to recognise the sounds that individual letters and combinations of letters make. Pupils learn to blend these sounds together to read words. They go on to use this knowledge when writing. 

At least twice daily each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practise together and apply what they have learned.







Foundation Stage 1a:

Respond to the noises adults make when they read stories.

Recognise and respond to familiar sounds

Play with sounds, songs and rhymes.


Hear and develop a preference for stories, rhymes, songs, poems or jingles.

Repeat words or phrases from familiar stories.

Fill in the missing word or phrase in a known rhyme, story or game



Letters and Sounds Aspects 1-3

36 Poems

50 books to Read

Foundation Stage 1b:

Develop a sense of a steady beat

Join in with rhyming and rhythmic activities.

Shows awareness of rhyme and alliteration.

Recognises rhythm in spoken words

Continue a rhyming string.


Develop auditory memory

Recite rhymes, poems and songs from memory

Join in with repeated refrains and anticipate key events and phrases in rhymes and stories.


Develop auditory discrimination

Hear and say the initial sound in words.








Letters and Sounds Aspects 4-6

36 Poems

50 Books to Read




Foundation Stage 2a:


Phoneme awareness – synthesise and segment words orally with no visual stimulus for each word type:







Phonic skills: Grapheme/phoneme correspondences.

Pack 1: s a t p i n m d g o c k e u r  h b f l  j  v w x y

Packs 2 – 11: sh ch ,ck a_e i_e ea ee ll  o_e th oo ai ar ng oa or aw qu ou  ow ss tch wh  pp ff ur ay ir are er igh ear, oi ew air, oy



To use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately:

Single letters




To use phonics knowledge to spell regular words accurately:

Single letters






Early Reading Packs 1 -7

Read Write Inc Book Bag Books

Jelly and Bean decodable readers



Foundation Stage 2b:

Read phonically regular words of more than one syllable

ow, oo, e-e  u-e, au, ph ie  u  zz



Additional packs 1-3

Read Write Inc Book Bag Books





Children’s progress is continually reviewed and they are formally assessed on entry and after a sequence of packs has been taught.

Children who do not make the expected progress receive additional support

The national Phonics screening check is performed in June of Year 1. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. The children who did not meet the required standard for the check in Year 1 enter again in Year 2 with additional support. As children enter KS2 provision is made for those children still requiring daily phonics.

Learning to decode text accurately is just the start of the reading  journey.  Reading is all about establishing meaning and appreciating the purpose and intentions of the writer. Teachers focus on developing seven aspects of learning:

Aspect Reading strategies Key phrase
1 Use a range of strategies, including accurate decoding of text, to read for meaning Decode accurately Read with basic understanding (recall)
2 Understand, describe, select or retrieve information, events or ideas from texts and use quotation and reference to text Seek, find and understandLiteral response to text. Refer to examples in the text
3 Deduce, infer or interpret information, events or ideas from texts Inference and deduction. Read between the lines; interpret information; put yourself in the character’s shoesUse evidence from the text to support views
4 Identify and comment on the structure and organisation of texts, including grammatical and presentational features at text level Why is the text presented and organised as it is?Comment on structure. Comment on presentational features
5 Explain and comment on the writers’ use of language, including grammatical and literary features at word and sentence level Why did the writer use that word/phrase/image/sentence construction/ punctuation? Awareness of the impact of the language used on the reader; literary awareness
6 Identify and comment on the writers’ purposes and viewpoints, and the overall effect What are the ‘big messages about life’ here?What are the writer’s attitudes, values and view on the world?What is the writer’s purpose?
7 Relate texts to their cultural and historical contexts and literary traditions What style of writing is this? Which literary genre does it sit in?How does this text relate to the world of literature?Can you put the text in context: socially/historically/culturally?

Christmas jumper Day 2021

10 Dec 2021

A big thank you for everyone who got behind Christmas jumper day today and helped raise some much needed money for Save the Children. It was great to see so much festive cheer in school with the child...

Remembrance Sunday

16 Nov 2021

A poignant shot of our wreath layers paying their respects and representing the school at Axminster War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday. WE WILL REMEMBER THEM!  

Anti Bullying Week 2021

15 Nov 2021

Great to see so many children and staff wearing odd socks today to kick of Anti-Bullying Week 2021. Across the week, our assembly focus will be anti-bullying and reinforcing the importance of kin...

Armistice Day

11 Nov 2021

A big thank you to our KS2 children who took part in Axminster's Armistice Day remembrance service alongside other local schools. The children laid crosses in the town's garden of remembrance bef...

New Playground Equipment

08 Nov 2021

A big thank you to our PTFA who have worked with our School Council and kindly supplied a range of new play equipment for both our KS1 and KS2 playgrounds. 

Harvest Celebration

20 Oct 2021

On Monday Axminster Community Primary Academy came together to celebrate Harvest with all donations this year going to the local food bank. Years 5 and 6 kicked things off with a beauti...

Forest School Area Community Day

18 Oct 2021

A huge thank you to every who gave up their time over the weekend to tidy and revamp our forest school area. The hard work has made a massive difference as we work towards developing our outdoor space...

Squid Game - Safeguarding Update

14 Oct 2021

We have had several KS2 children at school mention, quote and re-enact aspects of Netflix’s most recent viral show, Squid Game. We are concerned that children at school are watching this as...

Axminster Heritage Centre Visit

08 Oct 2021

This week, our KS1 children visited Axminster Heritage Centre as part of their local history work. Whilst they were there the children found out about the town's rich carpet making history and how dif...

Parent Forums

24 Sep 2021

Having held the first Governing Body meeting of the year this week we have planned a couple of parent forums on Monday 11th October. These will take place in the school hall at 9m and 6:30pm with refr...