Reading and Phonics


At Waltham-on-the-Wolds we want our children to become enthusiastic and engaged readers, and to develop a life-long love of books.

We introduce the children to a range of good quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry books through our whole-class, core-text approach to teaching reading, and during their weekly guided reading session.

In the early stages of reading, we teach children to decode words using phonic skills as their main approach, alongside we teach sight vocabulary using the Read Write Inc programme. Once grasped, the focus for developing reading is understanding and comprehension.

Home Reading and Reading for Pleasure

Developing readers will bring home levelled books each week. Independent readers will bring home self-selected books from their book corner or the library. Please spend time reading with and talking to your child about what they read, and help them to use their reading record to record their enjoyment of reading.

Below are recommended reading lists for each year group.


At Waltham, phonics is taught daily to all children in Reception and Key Stage 1. We use the Read Write Inc programme to teach children the phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (how the sounds are written).

The children are taught to read words by blending, which means saying each sound and then pushing all the sounds together to make a word. The children are taught to spell words by segmenting, which means sounding out words and writing down the sounds they can hear.

By the end of Reception children are expected to know all of set 1 sounds. By the end of Year 1 all children are expected to know all set 2 and 3 sounds. The children then move away from learning sounds and focuses on spelling rules and patterns.

At the end of Year 1 all children in England take a test called a ‘Phonics Screening Check’. They have to read 40 real and nonsense words. We call them nonsense words or ‘Alien words’ and the children practise reading them every day.

Below are lots of resources with information on how Read Write Inc works and how you can support your child at home.

You can also visit the Read Write Inc website (external link) with video clips on how to pronounce the sounds and other resources and information.

Other RWI Resources:

Visit the Oxford Owl website (external link) which has over 100 free ebooks for you to enjoy with your child.

Also see:

All documents on this page are pdf files unless otherwise stated.