Reading and Phonics


We aim to ensure that all of our children become successful readers who develop a life-long passion for reading. 

We get asked lots of questions about reading and phonics and hope that the information on this page will help you to understand our approach to reading and phonics and give you ideas for how you can help at home.


We teach 'Synthetic Phonics' at Easingwold Primary School using the Letters and Sounds programme. The children are introduced to this in our EYFS Class and they progress through each phase during their time in Key Stage 1. They learn how to read and spell words using their phonic knowledge to decode words. We use a wide range of teaching techniques and resources in our daily phonics sessions to make them fun, practical and exciting. To compliment the Letters and Sounds programme we also use Jolly Phonics. This is a phonics programme that teaches children each phoneme (sound) by learning a song and an action to go with it. There are some useful links at the bottom of the page for each of these programmes.

Common Exception Words (CEW)

We also encourage pupils to learn words 'by sight'. These words are the common words that are not easy to read using phonic methods, We call them the common exception words, and  tricky words in EYFS. These need to be practised until they are instantly recognisable.There are lists attached at the bottom of the page for you to use at home.These words are the words that your children bring home to learn as their spellings on our Roll and Write sheets. These are personal to each individual child and tested on a fortnightly basis. 


Reading Books

As soon as children start with us in Reception they are introduced to our  reading scheme. The books are colour coded into bands according to their difficulty as follows:

Introductory Stage: Lilac

Stage 1: Pink

Stage 2: Red

Stage 3: Yellow

Stage 4: Blue

Stage 5: Green

Stage 6: Orange

Stage 7: Turquoise

Stage 8: Purple

Stage 9: Gold

Stage 10: White

Stage 11: Lime

Stage 12: Brown

Stage 13: Grey / Black 

Stage 14: Dark Blue 

Stage 15: Dark Red

Free Reader

Your child will progress through the scheme at their own speed and move to each next level when the class teacher feels they are ready.

After the children have moved through all of these levels they become a free reader. Most children do not become free readers until they are in Key Stage 2. They are then able to choose books to take home from our extensive class libraries.


All children take part in weekly Guided Reading sessions where they read in their group with the teacher, read in their group with the teaching assistant, where appropraite they complete a follow up task to show their understanding of the text read, Roll and Write and a SPaG based activity to develop thier basis skills of the English langauge. 


School Library

Our recently refurbished library is now accessible to all our children from the day that they start school. All classes have an allocated library slot throughout the week and during this slot the children are able to change thier take home books, and borrow other ficiton or information books. All children have a library card which enables an adult, or the children in KS2 to record the books that they have. The books are then returned and checked back in to our library. There is no set time that the children need to have the books - all we ask is that they return the books in the same condition they took them. The borrowing and returning of books takes place wthin the class library slot weekly.  All children are also encouraged to join the local library and classes visit the local library to encourage a love of reading.

EPIC Points for Reading

Each class in school has their own colour EPIC points. These are awarded for various reasons throughout school. To encourage children to earn EPIC points we ask that they read 5 times through the week, and record this in their reading record. Every child has the same reading record in school, and these are checked by an adult to see if an EPIC point is needed. When an EPIC point has been awarded, the children drop them into their box. At the end of the half term or term , the tokens are counted by our Mini Leaders and a reward is awarded the the winning class in KS1 / KS2. 


If you would like any further information on Reading and Phonics, please speak to your child's class teacher, or Mrs Bramma our English Leader.