English: Phonics and Reading

At St Neot Primary School we are passionate about providing all of our children with a broad range of reading resources, memorable experiences and the highest quality reading teaching and encourage each one of them to become life long readers. 
Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a wide range of words and our teachers are passionate to provide as many of these experiences throughout school life. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read and explore the world around them. 

10 Benefits of Reading

1. Children who read often and widely get better at it.

After all, practice makes perfect in almost everything humans do, and reading in no different.

2. Reading exercises our brain.

Reading is a much more complex task for the human brain rather than watching TV, for example. Reading strengthens brains connections and builds NEW connections.

3. Reading improves concentration.

Children have to sit still and quietly so that they can focus on the story when they are reading. If the read often, they will develop the skill to do this for longer.

4. Reading teaches children about the world around them.

Through reading a variety of books children learn about people, places, and events outside of their own experience.

5. Reading improves vocabulary and language skills.

Children learn new words as they read. Subconsciously, they absorb information on how to structure sentences and how to use words and other language features effectively in their writing and speaking.

6. Reading develops a child's imagination.

As we read our brains translate the descriptions we read of people, places and things into pictures. While we are engaged in a story we are also imagining how a character is feeling. Young children then bring this knowledge into their everyday play.

7. Reading helps children to develop empathy.

As children develop they begin to imagine how they would feel in that situation.

8. Reading is a fun.

A book or an e-reader doesn't take up much space and is light to carry, so you take it anywhere so you can never be bored if you have a book in your bag.

9. Reading is a great way to spend time together.

Reading together on the sofa, bedtimes stories and visiting the library are just some ways of spending time together.

10. Children who read achieve better in school.

Reading promotes achievement in all subjects, not just English. Children who are good readers tend to achieve better across the curriculum.


Reading consists of two dimensions: word reading and comprehension. Quality teaching of early reading is essential for children to develop competence, fluency and automaticity when decoding and recognising familiar and unfamiliar words.

Systematic synthetic phonics is taught in EYFS and KS1. St Neot Primary School follows the Twinkl Phonics scheme as approved by the Department for Education. Children begin phonics lessons in the Foundation year, consisting of daily discrete lessons, which follow a set order across the levels.  Children are taken through the levels of blending and segmenting words, starting with the oral and progressing into using phonemes and graphemes to blend and segment, to develop reading and writing skills. Year 1/2 children also develop their knowledge of spelling patterns using Spelling Shed, which continues through KS2.

There is an expectation that all children will be fluent readers having secured word recognition skills by the end of KS1. We are rigorous in our approach to teaching phonics and reading to ensure that all children have the fluency and automaticity required to access all reading material. We are determined that every child will be a reader by the end of primary school.

The teaching of phonics helps pupils to build essential phonic knowledge and skills:

  •       Blending decodable words
  •       Segmenting decodable words (including keep)
  •       Spelling and reading common exception words

At St Neot Primary School we use Twinkl Phonics. Bug Club and Reading Planet as our main reading schemes from Foundation onwards and these are supplemented with different reading materials.   All of the schools’ reading books are based on reading levels throughout EYFS, KS1 and KS2.

Our Golden Threads

In English, we become citizens of the world by exploring a range of genres and literature that are from different countries and cultures.

We are lifelong learning by developing a love of literature and different genres.

Our learning prepares us for later life by developing our skills in a range of contexts.