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St Stephen's Tockholes CE Primary School

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English - Phonics, Reading and Writing

At Tockholes we follow the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for Key Stage One and Two.  It states:


English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils 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.


It places importance on all the skills of language, which are essential to participating fully as a member of society.



  1. Promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word.
  2. Develop children’s love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.


Through teaching the National Curriculum for English, we ensure that all pupils:

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

Reading at Tockholes

The National Curriculum focus on two dimensions for reading:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading).

Teaching at Tockholes focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions. Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics is effective in the teaching of early reading.


Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, We seek to establish an appreciation and love of reading as we know that reading widely increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.

At Tockholes we use a variety of texts to engage children in reading. The children read a variety of 'real' reading books, Dandelion Readers, Big Cat Phonics, Ribgy Star and Oxford Reading Tree books. 


Phonics - Monster Phonics

Phonics sessions are taught daily in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 using the Monster Phonics Programme. We also teach the children a variety of songs and actions to help them learn the phonemes. The children are taught following a six phase programme and follow the same lesson structure each day for up to 30 minutes. Children are regularly assessed and are streamed into different ability groups.


All phonics sessions follow the same four part teaching sequence.

Phonics Teaching Sequence

  • Revisit and review- where previously taught sounds are revised
  • Teach- new sounds or common exception words are taught which includes a "hook" to support new learning
  • Practice- reading and writing letters and words with the new sound in.
  • Apply- reading and writing activities using newly taught sounds


At the end of Year 1 your child will complete a phonics assessment which is made up of real and nonsense words. This assesses how well children can use their knowledge of phonics to read words. You will be told your child's result at the end of Year 1 and if your child has or has not met the benchmark grade. If your child doesn't achieve the benchmark grade then further intensive support will be given in Year 2. In 2023 40% of Year 1 attained the expected standard.  100% of children in Year 2 who did not meet the benchmark in 2022 attained the expected standard. 

Subject Leadership

Reading Eggs

Children have a login for Reading Eggs which they can access at school and at home.  Please contact school if you are usure of your child's login details. 

Supporting Reading at Home

Reading At Home Does Make a Difference

Please watch the film on the link below that really shows the importance of reading at home. Take 10 minutes each day to sit and enjoy a book with your child as it really does make a big difference in the long term.


Writing at key stages 1 and 2  focuses on:

  • Transcription (spelling and handwriting)

The ability to write down ideas fluently, spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words.

  • Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).

Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader.

Our Curriculum in Action


Biblical Value

Inspiring God’s children to achieve their full potential. We are a small school but big enough to care and inspire all children. We provide a safe Christian environment for all to work and play together.