Phonics & Reading

Phonics & Reading

At Cottingley Primary Academy we believe that reading is the key to unlocking learning. We therefore ask all children to commit, via our home school agreement, to reading at home every day for at least 10 minutes (and preferably with an adult). Each child has a reading diary and this should be completed daily as a record of their home learning with reading; the class teacher will check this each morning so please feel free to pop any notes / questions you have about your child's reading progress in here. 


 This September we have introduced Read, Write, Inc for our phonics lessons as we believe this will help to accelerate progress even more at Cottingley.

We are using the 1-2-1 tutoring kit to help any pupils who need to catch up in KS1 and LKS2 along with the Fresh Start intervention in Years Five and Six.

We also have a range of other materials available to support phonics in school:

Floppy's Phonics books and software

Sounds and Letters books

Project X books

Jolly Phonics mnemonics

As your child completes their work on Phase 5 phonics (expected by the end of Y1) they will move on to the Read, Write, Inc spelling programme to learn more about spelling strategies, patterns and rules.

 We run a series of workshops throughout the school year to help you to be able to support your child with their phonics and spelling - just ask at the school office for more details. 

 For help with phoneme pronunciation, and guidance on some of the terminology your child might use, please log on to:

 For further information on the Year 1 phonics screening check please see: 

Home reading routines

 Up to the end of  the Early Learning Goals (ELG) – Usually Nursery and Reception

Until children have met the Early Learning Goals (usually nursery and reception) they will be given two books to take home each week. One book will link directly to their phonics teaching, the other will be free choice from the academy’s Early Years Library.

 Every time your child starts a new level of book you will be provided with a set of flashcards for the corresponding sounds and also a set of key word flashcards. Please use these at home with your child to help them progress more quickly with their reading. If you have any questions regarding this, please feel free to speak to any member of our early years team.

 After completion of ELG to the end of Phase 5 phonics – Usually Year 1 and 2

 Each child will be given four reading books a week –this is to ensure that there is plenty of reading material in the home for your child to practise a variety of reading skills with.

1)     Floppy’s Phonics or Songbirds book. These books are phonically decodable and will match the phase of phonics teaching that your child is currently working on. This will help them to apply their phonics learning in the home. Every time your child starts a new level of book you will be provided with a set of flashcards for the corresponding sounds and also a set of key word flashcards. Please use these at home to help your child progress more quickly with their reading. 

2)     An Oxford Reading Tree scheme book. This is the scheme we work through to help develop reading comprehension and high frequency words.  Each week you will be provided with a comprehension sheet to accompany that week’s book to help your child to develop basic comprehension skills. These sheets do not need to be returned to school; they are not formal homework although we appreciate that you may wish send them in to share with the class teacher and this is welcomed.

3)     A colour banded book .Children choose this book themselves from a colour level that has been matched to their ability by the teacher. This ensures that your child is developing skills of choosing their own texts for their own enjoyment (but the fact that they are colour coded also ensures that your child obtains a degree of success in their free choice reading; hopefully encouraging them to read more for pleasure).

4)     A free choice library book - each class visits the library once a week and each child is able to borrow one book. This can be anything at all - we aim for all children to LOVE reading and want to provide opportunities for them to experience reading materials they might not otherwise have access to. We do not worry if this book is too hard - sometimes children just want to choose the biggest book they can find (or the one with the most exciting pictures!). We use our library to foster a love of reading.

Following the end of Phase 5 phonics – Usually the end of Y2 upwards

When children reach the end of Phase 5 phonics  they will move on to our free choice reading system, Accelerated Reader. Each child will sit an on-line test which will give them a 'ZPD' (a numerical range from which they can choose their own reading book). They will then have free choice over their reading book within this range (with a little guidance from the teacher if required). Each time they complete a text, they will be able to sit a web based comprehension quiz to assess their learning.  Children earn points for each quiz they take and these points turn into... PRIZES! You are also able to track your child's progress with quizzes through the use of AR Home Connect:

For more information on Accelerated Reader please see:

To check whether or not a book is suitable for a child's ZPD, please log on to: 

When children are selecting books from AR they also choose a book from our school library so that they have two reading books at home. Again, their library book is completely free choice and aims to promote a love for reading.