Cranborne Road, Newbold, Chesterfield, S41 8PF

01246 232370

Nurture, Cherish, Succeed


"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all"


EYFS Phonics and Reading Information

At NCS we believe that it is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. We understand that reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. To develop language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) we regularly talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read. We also enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together.

In Nursery children develop their phonological awareness through taking part in adult-led activities which promote listening skills and Phase 1 letters and sounds. Through these activities’ pupils develop their auditory discrimination, and auditory memory. Activities to progress children’s phonological awareness and interest in sounds are embedded prior to the introduction of systematic phonics teaching in Reception. 


In Reception phonics is taught using the Phonics Play programme, which is based on the government programme ‘Letters and Sounds’. We use the Phonics Play software and planning to deliver a tailored phonics programme. Children are grouped according to their phonics ability.  


Children will hear stories from the EYFS 'Core book' list read fluently and without interruption daily. These texts will be read repeatedly throughout the year to support the development of vocabulary, language structures and foster a passion for reading.   


Here is the order in which letters are taught, and the phases-

Phase 1

  1. Tuning into sounds
  2. Listening and remembering sounds
  3. Talking about sounds (so basically being aware that words are made of graphemes and phonemes)
  4. Orally sounding out words to identify and spell them.
  5. Hearing words that start and end with the same sounds 

Web links for phase 1:

Letters and sounds phase 1 information

Phonics play website - phase  1 information


For more information about how we teach Phonics in our Nursery please click this link


Home learning

Twinkl TV   Phase 1 support 

Phase 2 Support 


Twinkl TV Phase 2 lessons  - click here 



Phase 3 Support 


Twinkl TV Phase 3  - click here 



Phase 4 


Twinkl TV Phase 4 - click here 



Phase 2

Learning which letter makes which sound

Set 1: s    a    t    p

Set 2: I    n    m    d

Set 3: g    o    c    k

Set 4: ck    e    u    r

Set 5: h    b    f    ff    l    ll    ss

Phase 3

Set 6: j    v    w    x

Set 7: y    z    zz    qu

ch    sh    th    ng    ai    ee    igh    oa    oo    ar    or    ur    ow    oi    ear    air    ure    er

Phase 4

No new graphemes

Practising all the graphemes and blending them together to make words.

This phase includes learning to read and spell longer words.

Phase 5

New graphemes ay (day)    ou (out)    ie (tie)    ea (east)    oy (boy)    ir (girl)    us (blue)    aw (saw)

wh (when)    ph (photo)    ew (new)    oe (toe)    au (Paul)

Split diagraphs (where the sound is split by another letter)

a-e (make)    e-e (these)    I-e (like)    o-e (home)    u-e (rule)

New pronunciations for known letters:

I (fin, find)    o (hot, cold)    c (cat, Cant)    g (got, giant)    ow (cow, blow)    ie (tie, field)    ea (eat, bread)

er (farmer, her)    a (hat, what)    y (yes, by, very)    ch (chin, school, chef)    ou (out, shoulder, could, you)



We regularly assess children's phonics progress with the support of an online assessment tool called Phonics Tracker. We feed this information into our half termly meetings where each groups progress is discussed to ensure we are meeting the needs of all our children. 

For further information, please click on the links below.


EYFS / KS1 Phonics Glossary

Help your child with reading

Reading with Understanding

Parent Reading prompts

Mr Thorne and Geraldine the Giraffe take you on a learning journey through the world of phonics


Phonicsplay - a site packed with interactive phonics games.

 Owford Owl


    How to pronounce pure sounds:


    Phase 2 and 3 pronunciation Click here 


    Phase 5 pronunciation Click here 


    Communication, Language and Literacy

    Communication, Language and Literacy is at the heart of our curriculum. We are committed to engaging our children with stories and rhymes from a very young age. Early language development is established through daily stories and rhymes. Children will experience quality reading, story time, rhyme, talk and play on a daily basis. This is carefully planned within our sessions and continuous provision. 


    EYFS and KS1 Reading scheme 

     We send home Bug Club Phonics books for the children to read to parents as well as a home reading record. 

    The Bug Club phonic books are fully decodable and aligned to our phonic scheme.



     The Bug Club phonics book progression chart

      Reading at NCS 

      At NCS children will learn to read with confidence, fluency and understanding, providing them with the skills required to achieve a lifetime of enjoyment through reading. Children read in school independently, with peers and as a shared class session. 

      During the Early Years, many activities take place which promote pre-reading skills. Children become aware of print in their environment and match pictures and words. Language comprehension is developed by talking and reading to the children. As children gain phonic knowledge they start the process of decoding.

      Initially, as children learn to read, they are given a picture book without words, with the intention that they will share the book and take part in a conversation generated by the pictures. Gradually, as the child’s knowledge of letters and sounds develop they begin to phonetically decode words.



      Find and explain the meaning of words in context.


      Make and justify interpretations about characters and events using evidence from the text.


      Predict what might happen from the details given and implied in a text.


      Explain preferences, thoughts and opinions about a text.

      Identify/explain how information/narrative content is related and contributes to the meaning as a whole. Identify/explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of words and phrases. Make comparisons within the text.


      Retrieve and record key information/details from fiction and non-fiction texts.

      Sequence (KS1)


      Order the key events of a story in the correct sequence.





      How you can help your child at home with reading.

      Daily reading practice will help develop children’s decoding and comprehension skills, although it is not expected that they will read a whole book every night. Children may only read three or four pages, but will spend longer discussing their understanding of what they have read in order to progress in developing their comprehension skills. We would encourage children to read a variety of texts on a regular basis, even taking opportunities to note and read texts in their environment such as road signs, leaflets, information posters, newspapers etc. Please feel free to share these experiences in their home reading record and encourage them to share their opinions about the texts they have read.


      Top tips for reading with your child.



      Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. 10 to 15 minutes is usually long enough.



      Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child. Try not to pressurise if he or she is reluctant. If your child loses interest, then do something else.



      If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Allow your child to self-correct, using their phonics skills. You can always discuss mis-pronounced word at the end of your reading time.



      Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless because the flow is lost, the text cannot be understood, and children can easily become reluctant readers.



      Encourage your child to use the public library regularly. 



      Try to read with your child every day. Little and often is best.



      Your child has a reading record book and we would love to hear the children’s opinions of the texts they read and their progress.



      There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Being able to understand what has been read is just as important. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.



      Remember that children need to experience a variety of reading materials e.g. picture books, hardbacks, comics, magazines, poems, recipes, instructions and information books.


      The stages of reading with your child at home

      The Bug Club phonics book progression chart...


      Books to support home learning  

      Big Cat Phonics ebooks

      Support early readers in practicing their decoding skills through highly decodable books. Tricky words and focus phonemes are highlighted in each reader to ensure systematic progression.


      Click on this link to login to Big Cat Phonics ebooks  

      *Contact your child's class teacher if you are unsure of the login details.


      Phonics practice books - take a look inside some example books here 


      Parents guide to Big Cat ebooks - see below 

      Speech & Language

      For more information please have a look at the following factsheets:


      Updated October 2021