How do we teach Phonics and early Reading


This page is to help you understand how we teach phonics and early reading at Bolshaw Primary School and the part that you can play in helping your child become a confident and fluent reader. Our aim is for all our children to become independent, life long readers, able to read a wide range of texts for a variety of purposes with understanding and for pleasure. We welcome and encourage support from home in the teaching of phonics and reading. We work in joint partnership between home and school to help children develop this vital skill.



Out of everything we do at Bolshaw, teaching reading is our most important job.

Our children’s phonics journey starts in Reception. Phonics provides vital foundations to become a fluent reader.

Our aim is to teach all children to decode unfamiliar words by the time they leave Year 1. From Year 2 onwards, we aim to teach children to read with fluency, expression and understanding and to use what they have read to broaden their understanding of the wider curriculum. 

We aim to create a love of reading, by sharing daily high quality books with our children, by reading to and with them, and by supporting our parents to make reading an enjoyable part of their daily routine.

We choose books that make our children think and question. Our books both reflect the community in which the children live and introduce them to lives different from their own.  Children read widely across the curriculum, in all forms, including non-fiction books, magazines and newspapers and digital formats. 


At Bolshaw, we use Twinkl Phonics as our Systematic, Synthetic Phonics Program (SSP).  It is high quality and robust in its purpose. With a clear, structured progression through the programme, it allows all of our pupils to meet or exceed the expected standard.  

The Twinkl Phonics approach combines rigorous progression with engaging learning materials. We believe that children learn best when they are enjoying their learning and that this comes from a mix of bright, fun lesson resources within a clear and systematic approach that builds children’s skills daily.  

During the lessons, children will repeat the elements from the four cornerstones of phonics to ensure that they have rapid and automatic recall of GPCs and tricky/common exception words; each day, they will experience blending and segmenting activities to allow regular practise of these core skills.

Stories are used to provide a stimulus and context for the phonics teaching in Twinkl Phonics lessons. The story content also integrates games to practise the skills taught. So, while children are solving mysteries in Ancient Egypt or journeying down the Mississippi River, they are practising and rehearsing their core phonics skills over and over, in many different and engaging ways. Within Levels 2 and 3, stories last for one lesson. From Level 4 onwards, stories develop over a week and, therefore, act as an additional hook into learning, often being left on a cliffhanger to be resolved in the next lesson.

Twinkl Phonics lessons are also supported by weekly decodable minibooks, which are part of our Core Provision, where children can apply the skills they have learnt in their phonics lessons. As part of our wider SSP provision, there are also follow-up activities that the children can complete independently, in pairs or in groups which relate to the day’s learning

How you can help your child at home

Throughout every year we hold various phonics and reading workshops for parents. 

Ask your teacher for advice on how your child is doing in phonics, and whether there are certain areas you should focus on at home. Every child learns differently. If your child struggles with phonics, your child’s teacher will have already contacted you to discuss the extra support they are receiving and ways you can support them at home.

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Bolshaw Primary School

Cross Road, Heald Green, Cheadle, SK8 3LW

Lynda Brown

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