Reading and Phonics at Royston St John Baptist


We love reading at Royston St John Baptist CE Primary School!

All children take home a reading record and reading book which they can change regularly in our library. We recommend that children read at home for at least 10 minutes every day.  We encourage every child to read with someone at home every night. We also recommend that parents and carers read to their children every day if possible as part of a daily routine. You can support your child by encouraging them to talk about their reading and ask them questions to check their understanding.

Reading lessons take place every day. The morning begins with a reading activity that the children can access as soon as they enter the school building. In our lessons, teachers focus on different aspects of reading in a structured way. All children have the opportunity to work with an adult during our reading sessions throughout the week.

We all love to listen to stories read by adults!  We do it as often as we can! We also enjoy reading themed special events such as World Book Day and The Big Book Sale.

Reading Schemes

All children are encouraged to borrow books from the school library. The adults in school will help children select appropriate level books and assess children’s levels at relevant periods throughout the year. PM Benchmarking is used to endure that children’s fluency and retelling strategies are assessed accurately. The ‘Catch up’ intervention is also used for individuals needing further support in reading.


We use the Letters and Sounds Phonics scheme in school to teach daily phonics sessions.

In Phonics we break words down into their sounds or phonemes. Phonemes can consist of more than one letter for example ch, oo, er, igh etc. Two letters making a single sound e.g., ar, ee, ou, are called digraphs. Three letters making a single sound e.g., igh, are called trigraphs. A phoneme written down is called a grapheme. Children will learn to blend phonemes to read words, e.g., sh – i – p = ship. They will also learn to segment words into phonemes to spell them, e.g., ship = sh – i – p.

Children are taught to use the pure sound rather than letter name. This helps with blending sounds whih leads to more successful readers.

It is really important that children use these blending and segmenting skills in their reading and writing to ensure they are applying these phonics skills. You can support this at home by encouraging children to blend phonemes to read words in their reading books.

Some key words can’t be segmented into separate phonemes and need to be learned by sight. These words are known as ‘tricky words,’ e.g. said and the.

There are 6 Phases within the letters and sounds programme and most children will complete Phase 6 by the end of Year 2. There are interventions in place for KS2 children who are still working on Phonics skills.

According to phonic phase, all children in EYFS and KS1 children access appropriate phonics groups.

We also offer parent drop in sessions with the phonics leaders and PSA that focus on the teaching of phonics and how parents can help at home.

Please speak to a member of staff if you’d like support when helping your child with phonics and reading.