Quick Links

Quick Links

Christ Church CE Primary School Battersea

  • SearchSearch Site
  • Translate Translate Page

Phonics and Early Reading in EYFS

Children begin their reading journey at Christ Church learning to read using the Read Write Inc Phonics scheme. 

Making a strong start

When your child starts school in Reception, they will start learning to say and write the Read Write Inc Set 1 Sounds. 

During the first few weeks, children will have a daily whole class Speed Sounds lesson where they will learn to say new sounds, practise sounds they have been taught and have opportunities to write these sounds. 

Click HERE to learn more in this Parent Guide (including videos to help you and your child say the sounds correctly). 

Learning to Blend

During the first few weeks we will assess you child to see which sounds they are confident reading and writing. They will then start working in smaller groups every day to continue to learn to read new sounds, practise the sounds they know and to blend sounds together to read words. They will continue to have the opportunity to write letter sound daily. 

While your child is learning to blend in school you can help them by reading at home. Your child will bring home to read:  

The Read Write In Sound Blending Book they are reading in school. 

Reading Storytime Books

Once your child is confident blending sounds in the Blending books, they will start to read Storytime Phonics books daily in small groups after every Speed Sound lesson. 

Storytime books help children to practise reading ‘green words’. These are the words that they can ‘Fred Talk’ to segment and decode using the phonics sounds they know. They will also help children to read ‘red words. These are tricky words that are not phonetically decodable. 

Your child will bring home two Storytime books a week (one for review and one new). Reading this at home will help your child become secure with the sounds they are currently learning in school. 

Encourage your child to read this book independently although they may need some support with he sounds they are learning. Ask questions about the book and talk lots about the story. Don’t just read it once – read the book multiple times to develop fluency and deeper understanding.


Catch up and Keep up

We are ambitious in our expectations of the progress children make in their reading journey at Christ Church. Our aim in that every child can keep up with their progress in Early Reading. 

To ensure no child is left behind, every afternoon children receive a 5 minute Speed Sound session to help them become fluent and speedy reading the sounds they know. Children who are identified to have any misconceptions, lack of fluency or insecurity in ability to read letter sounds during Phonics lesson will received targeted 1:1 Speed minute sessions to practise sounds and also opportunities to play Fred Talk games with an adult to develop their understanding. 

Reading at Home

Why is it important for your child to read at home?

Sharing stories, talking  and singing every day helps your child’s development in many ways. 

Reading and sharing stories can:

  • Helping your child get to know sounds, words and language, and develop early literacy skills
  • Learn to value books and stories
  • Spark your child’s imagination and stimulate curiosity
  • Help develop your child’s brain, ability to focus, concentration, social skills and communication skills
  • Help your child learn about the world, their own cultures and other cultures. 

How to read a story to your child

On the first reading:

  • Make reading aloud feel like a treat. Make it a special quiet time and cuddle up so you can both see the book.
  • Show curiosity about what you’re going to read: ‘This book looks interesting. It’s about an angry child. I wonder how angry he gets…’
  • Read through the whole story the first time without stopping too much, let the story weave its own magic. 
  • Read with enjoyment. Read favourite stories over and over again.
  • If your child did not understand something, try to explain: ‘Oh! I think what’s happening here is that…’
  • Talk about the story and pictures: ‘I wonder why she did that? Oh no, I hope she’s not going to’…
  • Link the stories to your own family experience: ‘This reminds me of when…’
  • Link the stories to others that your child know: ‘Ah! Do you remember the dragon in…? do you remember what happened to him?’
  • Encourage your child to join in with bits they know.

Questions you can ask when reading

Before reading the book:

  • Can you point to the title?
  • What do you think this story is about? What might happen in the story?
  • What do we call the writing on the back of the book? (Blurb)
  • What does the blurb tell us?

While reading the book:

  • What is happening in the pictures?
  • What had happened so far?
  • Is that what you expected to happen?
  • What might happen next?
  • How do you think the story might end?
  • What sort of character is…?
  • Is she/he friendly/ mean/ nice…?

At the end of the book:

  • Did you like this book? Why? (encourage children to develop an opinion about books by encouraging them to explain their reasons). 
  • What was your favourite part? Why?
  • What was the most interesting/exciting part of the book? Can you find it?
  • What sort of character was…?
  • What happened in the story?

It is helpful if you:

  • Say go back and try that again…’Fred Talk’ it to help you.
  • Let your child read the book again so they become more fluent and their reading sounds like talking
  • Talk lots about the book
  • Read to your child as well as listen to them read – make reading fun!

Things that are unhelpful

  • Don’t ask your child to ‘Fred-Talk’ (sound out) all the words – remember some can’t be sounded out (to, the, said, was)
  • Don’t tell them they should know a word – help them work it out together