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?

Many families will have heard the Prime Minister’s address on Sunday 11th May in which he stated that:

“At the earliest by June 1 – after half term – we believe we may be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages, beginning with reception, Year 1 and Year 6. Our ambition is that secondary pupils facing exams next year will get at least some time with their teachers before the holidays.”

Currently, schools will continue to offer places for vulnerable children and those of key workers but we understand that many other parents will want to know more about when their children will return to school. Schools across the country will also have heard this news for the first time on Sunday and over the course of the next week or two, schools will be reviewing the detailed guidance government has said it will provide. They will then take any action required to open the school to the year groups identified in a safe way. When they are in a position to do so each school will provide information on their website and in newsletters so that parents will know exactly when the school will be able to once again offer a place for their children. 

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Maths masterclass

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On Thursday 7th November, the second of this year's RI Maths Masterclasses was held at Mrs Ethelston's Primary Academy.  During the afternoon, Year 6 children from across the Multi Academy Trust...

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On Thursday 27th and Friday 28th June, some of our Year 6 children experienced a canoeing taster day organised by the Axe Vale Canoe Club in Axmouth. They enjoyed paddling up the river beyond Axmouth,...

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Forest School – a day at Magdalen Farm! On Thursday 6th December, Miss Mayes and Mrs Kew had the pleasure of taking six children to Magdalen Farm for a Forest School day.  The purpose of th...

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Chidren from Axminster Academy, Mrs E's and Chardstock all came together to lay tributes to the 68 men, from the parish of Axminster, who died in WW1. A wonderful service included readign fromthe chil...

Acorn MAT supports local fallen hero's

15 Nov 2018

Chidren from Axminster Academy, Mrs E's and Chardstock all came together to lay tributes to the 68 men, from the parish of Axminster, who died in WW1. A wonderful service included readign fromthe chil...

New lease of life for play area in North Street, Axminster

27 Jun 2018

Axminster Community Primary Academy and Little Acorns @ Axminster are so proud to support this wonderful project. The children really felt a strong desire to improve the local community and I am immen...


08 Jun 2018

14 children from Year 5 and 6 went canoeing on Wednesday 6th June to the Axe Vale Canoe Club in Axmouth. Everyone really enjoyed the day paddling up the estuary and River Axe beyond Axmouth and p...

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13 Mar 2018

We have some new arrivals and Beech class are taking full advantage to use them as a model for descriptive sentences! 

World Book Day

09 Mar 2018

On Friday 9th March, the children (and staff) all came into school dressed as a character from their favourite book.  The costumes were amazing!  Thank you to all parents and carers who help...

Early Years Activities

26 Feb 2018

The children in our Early Years Centre have been very busy recently.  They have been talking about their pets and the children and some of our teachers have brought in photos of their animals for...

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05 Feb 2018

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18 Jul 2017

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Sports Day

18 Jul 2017

Today Axminster Community Primary Academy held its annual Sports Day.  Thankfully the recent heatwave was over and we were able to hold the event as scheduled.  Our children excelled in the...

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18 Jul 2017

The children of Spruce and Rowan classes have been working hard, with Mrs Hogarth the Art Teacher, designing a poster on the theme "Axminster Carnival" for the Axe Vale Festival. Although all the chil...

Tadpole update

18 Jul 2017

The tadpoles that Beech Class were studying last term have continued to thrive! 

Election Week

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