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 Reception Class and children 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.

Key Words

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 tricky words. These need to be practised until they are instantly recognisable.There is a tricky word list at the bottom of the page for you to use at home.

Read, Write Inc.

Once your child has completed the Letters and Sounds programme and their phonics are secure they will move onto the Read, Write Inc programme. Each week they will learn a new spelling rule and complete activities and play games to help them learn and apply the rule. They will bring weekly spellings home to learn in their log book and you will be able to see each week how they have got on. Alongside this they will spend time learning the statutory word lists for years 3-6 as introduced into the new National Curriculum from September 2014. These word lists are at the bottom of the page for your child to practice at home.

Reading Books

As soon as children start with us in Reception they are introduced to our main reading scheme Oxford Reading Tree. 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

Stage11: Lime

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.

School Library:

Children also have access to our school library from Year 2 onwards. They can visit at lunchtime to read quietly and choose books to take home. Children are also encouraged to join the local library and classes visit the local library to encourage a love of reading.

Reading Tree:

In our main corridor we have a school Reading Tree. Each team in school has their own branch of the tree. This is a reward system in school to encourage reading at home. If a child reads four times a week or more at home and has their reading record/diary signed by an adult they are awarded a leaf to put on the tree. Each term our tree blooms and the children enjoy seeing how many leaves they can get for their branch. When the end of term arrives the leaves drop off the tree ready for a new term of reading.

Reading Owls:

Each week in our celebration assembly each teacher chooses a child to receive the reading owl award. The owls are also placed on the tree so the whole school can see who has been trying really hard with their reading in class.

Reading Eggs / Reading Eggspress:

Whilst at Easingwold Primary School your child will receive a subscription to the Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress website. This is a website that supports both phonics and reading. The children can complete activities and play games both at school and home. There are online books for them to read and rewards that they can work towards.