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Reading and Phonics

 Phonics at Heather


At Heather we use the validated by the Department of Education 'Success for All' as our phonics programme. 

This programme is aimed at nursery children upwards and aims to enable success for all children and to inspire a life long love of reading.  Success for all is a complete synthetic phonics programme with an array of school and home resources .  

The programme uses co-operative learning pedagogy to ensure that all children are fully engaged and interact in the whole lesson.  the children in Reception and Year 1 have daily lessons in both phonics and reading and spend the whole week reading the same book.

Throughout the week the children:

  • explore the book and make predictions

  • practise reading 'green' words which are decodable

  • learn how to read 'red' words - words that are tricky/common exception words

  • read the text chorally as a class

  • Partner read - taking turns with their partner

  • discuss what they have read

  • answer questions about what they have read

  • write about what they have

This fast paced, structured approach allows children to build their confident and fluency, enabling them to become successful independent readers.  

We encourage parents to read their Success for All reading book at home as well as their other decodable reader.  This gives them the opportunity to practise the knowledge of the sounds and the segmenting (Break it Down)  and blending (Say if Fast) skills they have learnt in school.  

The Success for All reading books are issued to each Phonics Group on a Monday morning by their group teacher and they link directly to the phonemes children are learning in their group at the time of issue. They are a superb way of reinforcing the phonemes and graphemes they are learning, through exciting stories and also non-fiction texts. These books are also available digitally. You will find the access details on the inside cover of your child’s home school diary. Please only read the book that your child is currently focusing on.

There are 68 steps that your child will work through from the start of Reception to the end of Year 1. The scope and sequence provides an overview of the Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) programme, which is aligned to the Letters and Sounds. Children learn to read and make progress through six phases. They start the shared readers from Phase 2 where the teaching of GPCs in phonics lessons is aligned with the shared reader. Phase 6 provides lessons to consolidate spelling skills and less common GPCs.

Please see the SfA leaflet here for more information.  

All children are given opportunity to access a book of their choosing from the school library which may be above or below their own reading ability.  This book is intended to be read and shared at home with an adult and is a way of promoting reading for pleasure. 


Children’s reading experiences are broadened further by sharing stories in assemblies and reading books from the class, class novels and teachers using high quality texts in both themed and literacy lessons across the school.


We ask that parents try to establish a regular reading routine at home to support their children in their learning, as this is one of the easiest ways for you to get involved and help your child to make important progress. We hold half termly Golden Ticket Draws – children who read at least three times a week at home are given a raffle ticket.  One ticket per year group is drawn each half term.  These children get to choose a free book and have a hot chocolate whilst they begin to enjoy reading it. 

Useful website to support reading at home

How to pronounce the sounds clearly – articulation of phonemes

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