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Reading and Phonics

We want to help all our children to be successful readers who love reading.

We hope that the information on this page will help you to understand our approach to reading and phonics, and give you ideas for how you can help at home.

If you have any questions about reading or phonics, please speak to your child's class teacher.


At Willow tree we teach 'Synthetic Phonics' using the Letters and Sounds programme. The children learn how to read and spell words using their phonic knowledge. We use a wide range of teaching techniques and resources in our daily phonics sessions.


Tricky Words

We also encourage pupils to learn words 'by sight'. These words are the common words that are not easy to build up using phonic methods (the tricky words!) and need to be practised until they are instantly recognisable.

Reading Books

We have a wide variety of both fiction and non fiction reading books to enable children to develop reading skills and broaden their experience of different texts.

All of our reading books are organised into 'Book Bands' which is a method used to group books according to their level of difficulty.

The children will move through the book bands in the following order as their reading skills develop.

After the children have moved through all of these levels they are given a 'free choice' of reading book from the extensive collection of fiction books and novels. The children are guided in their choice of book by their teacher to ensure they can access the text and understand the content. The children are encouraged to select books which cover a range of fiction and non fiction genres.

Library Books

Our children also have access to our library which has a wide range of different texts. The children visit the library each week and are encouraged to choose a book of their choice. They may take the book home to share with parents and can change their book on their next visit to the library.

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