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Phonics, Early Reading and Writing

Here at St. John's we ensure we provide a high-quality education in English which teaches our children to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them.


Through reading, children have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society and achieve well in their future. 


Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners.

We can achieve this together through:

  • Read Write Inc, a program to teach your child read and write
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home


We start by teaching phonics in Reception using the highly successful ‘Read Write Inc’ phonics programme. (For more information about this please see below) Children learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. The children also practice reading (and spelling) ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.


Once children can blend sounds together to read words, they practice reading books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start to believe they can read and this does wonders for their confidence. Children then start to write the letters which match the sounds they have learnt. The more phomemes (letter sounds) and graphemes (written sounds) children know the more they can sound out words and write the corresponding letters. With practice they write more words and then sentences too. 


Teachers regularly read to the children, too, so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing. So keep reading those bedtime stories as it is so important. 


Reading the phonics books regularly both in school and at home will really help your child to learn to read at a good pace and with increased confidence. It will aid both their reading and writing development.


Encouraging children to be writers by giving them paper, pads, pencils and pens and letting them draw, mark make and write by sounding out words and writing the corresponding letters gives them the confidence to believe in themselves. Copying adults writing, adults writing totally in capital letters  or being told they have not spelled things correctly can hinder this. They may not spell things correctly at first but that is fine, the more they learn about phomemes (letter sounds) and graphemes (written sounds) and how to build words alongside learning red words (words which are not phonetically correct) the better their spelling will become. 


Phonics at St. John's- Reception to year 2
Early Reading at St. John's- Reception to year 2 (autumn term)

Early Writing at St. John's starting in Reception

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