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Reading & Phonics at Four Oaks

Reading – How can you help?

One way in which children get better at reading is through lots of practice. By hearing children read at home, you can help them practise and improve. As you get more experienced, you will find more ways of helping children with their reading. But the main thing you will be doing is giving them more opportunity to practise by reading aloud to an adult.

You will also be helping the class teacher by sharing some of the responsibilities and giving the teacher a chance to concentrate their attention where it is most needed.

It is the teachers’ responsibility to teach reading, but your assistance will mean that you can work together to help children become better readers.


Your child may be:

  • a beginning reader – a young child who is in the early stages of learning to read.
  • a developing reader – a child who has already learned the basics of reading
  • a fluent reader – a child who can read well for his age.

Your approach to hearing your child read will depend on his age and ability.


Some Suggestions:


Talk with children about the book they are reading. What is it about? Do they like it? What has happened so far? What do they think will happen next?

With younger and less able readers, talk about the pictures. Pictures help children to understand the words.

With older and more-able readers, discuss the characters and the words and phrases used by the author.

When a child doesn’t know a word, ask him or her to try it and then tell the child what it is. Only get involved in ‘word-building’ if the teacher has asked you to do this.

If a child misreads a word, stop him or her and say the correct word – although if it is a word which makes no difference to the meaning (for example ‘home’ instead of ‘house’ or ‘water’ instead of ‘sea’), it is usually best to ignore it.

Use lots of praise and encouragement, and avoid criticism. It is important that the children become more confident with reading.

Choose a suitable time (not when there are distractions such as a favourite TV programme on!) Make full use of the time available. Hear children read – or talk to them about their reading – for as long as possible. This gives them extra practice and children often become more fluent if they read for longer than two or three minutes. But don’t make children read for longer than they can keep their interest and attention on the task.


Thank you for hearing your child read at home.
By assisting the teachers you are helping children become better readers.

 Phonics & Early Reading

At Four Oaks Primary School we show fidelity to BUG CLUB Phonics. This is our scheme of work and our reading progression scheme within our school.

Government Expectations

The programmes of study for reading at Key Stages 1 and 2 consist of 2 dimensions:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading)

It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.

Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics should be emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (ie unskilled readers) when they start school.

The Order of Learning

To help parents understand the direction of pupils’ learning click on the images below to see the order in which phonemes and graphemes are taught from the start of Reception until the end of Year 1:


Phonemes are the individual sounds that make up words. 

Graphemes are written symbols that represent a sound. There are 26 letters in the English alphabet which make 44 different sounds called phonemes.

In Reception, Bug Club Phonics teaches a new grapheme and related phoneme in every Phoneme Session. This fast pace, backed up by daily revision of past teaching, has proved the most effective and successful method of phonics training. This means that the basic 40+ phonemes are acquired quickly, and early reading skills develop rapidly. Decodable readers are introduced after just 10 days’ teaching at the end of Unit 2. This enables children to apply the taught strategies and enjoy contextualised reading early on.

In Bug Club Phonics children are taught graphemes and phonemes at the same time. Research shows that children progress quickly if they learn about phonemes in the context of letters and print right from the start of their phonics journey.

Here at Four Oaks we have put together 'A Parents' Guide to using Bug Club' so just click on this link to access it.

Phonics Screening Check

In the Summer term of Year 1 all children sit a Phonics Screening Check which is a statutory Government assessment. If pupils do not reach the threshold in Year 1, then they will sit this assessment again in Year 2.


We hope that this guide to how we teach phonics in the first years of a pupil's life at Four Oaks has given you a clear picture of how you can support your child in his or hers reading journey. If you have any further questions then do not hesitate to ask your child's class teacher.