Reading and Phonics

Reading and Phonics

At Westwood Academy, we lay strong emphasis on the teaching of reading.  The ability to read well is a vital skill.  We use a structured reading scheme and alongside this, we encourage the children to take books home to read with their parents.  Children may choose additional reading books from the well-resourced Academy library. We teach reading through individual, shared and guided group reading.



Classes Nursery to Year 2 follow the National Curriculum scheme of work.

Children in Reception and KS1 have a daily twenty-minute Phonic lesson.

In Nursery, early phonics is taught through singing, music, group times, shared reading and mark-making/writing. They begin with Phase 1 in September of the Nursery Year and develop awareness of letters and their sounds from Phase 2 as and when appropriate.

All phonic lessons have four parts, which are interactive, well-paced and structured so that the children are revisiting, learning, practising and applying their skills.

The teaching of phonics should incorporate a multi-sensory approach including use of hand actions, letter cards and magnetic letters, show-me activities with whiteboards and children physically engaged – opportunities to speak and say the sound.

The LCP document ‘Phonics Planning’ is used as a planning tool, this should however be adapted to cater for the needs of each phonics group.

Children in Year 3 will also continue with daily phonics teaching, as many of them will still be working within Phase 5 and 6, until Spring Term. Some children will be withdrawn for specific intervention.

SEN and INA children in KS2 should also receive additional phonic support through small group teaching or other relevant intervention programmes.


Assessment of phonics

Phonic knowledge is assessed each half term, based on the Letters and Sounds assessment criteria and the Phonics Screening Check.

Phonic knowledge is assessed during Reception and Year 1 through the statutory Phonics Screening Check. This will then also be repeated during Year 2 for those that did not pass in Year 1, to monitor progress and identify those children in need of intervention.


Shared Reading 


Children will engage in a ‘three-a-day’ read aloud programme; stories, poems, information texts, and nursery rhymes.



Children will follow the ‘Harmony Trust - Shared Reading Approach’ over three sessions per week.



Children will follow a five day Shared Reading plan –

Monday – To identify and understand words in a text.

Tuesday – To identify the main idea of the text.

Wednesday – To locate answers from a text.

Thursday – Spelling lesson

Friday – Reading for pleasure

Each week the children will be taught using a different question type so that they can respond to different types of comprehension questions.

Spelling lessons will follow the long term spelling planning.

Group Guided Reading

All children throughout school are listened to read at least once a week in groups of five for thirty minutes. SEN and PPG children should also have additional individual reading sessions during EMA time.

Nursery introduce real books in September for the children to take home and share with their parents. ORT reading books are introduced in Autumn 2.

Reading Assessment

In the Foundation Stage, yearly reading tests are carried out based on the hundred key words for Reception.

In Key Stage 1 and 2 yearly reading tests are carried out based on the appropriate keywords from National Curriculum Word lists.

Teacher assessment –

Each reading group will have a set of year group objectives that they will focus on over the academic year.

Teacher and TA will discuss which objectives to focus on each week.

Each objective needs to be signed three times for it to be met.

These objectives will then be used to form an assessment grade at the end of each term.

Children are assessed on an individual basis and pupil progress is discussed at termly data review meetings.

SAT tests for Year 2 and 6 in May/June, give test result data.

Files to Download

Westwood Academy: Believe, Achieve, Succeed

Middleton Road, Oldham, Lancashire, OL9 6BH

Miss S Wimperis: Principal

0161 627 4257

Harmony Trust

Alderson Street, Oldham, Lancashire, OL9 6AQ

CEO: Anthony Hughes

0161 260 0482 (ext 15)