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Year R phonics and reading presentations

It was great to see so many of you in attendance at the presentations held this week.

We thank you for your interest and support and hope that you found the information useful and informative.


Below you will find the three Powerpoint presentations that we shared. Please make reference back to them to revisit the information and if you have any further questions please email or call the school.


By the end of the week you should receive a copy of the Phase 2 and 3 sound mat and a coloured copy of the key word sets.


Further down this page you will also find information about using wordless books as part of your child's reading development.


Thank you for your support.

Curriculum meeting for Year R parents

Thank you so much to all the parents that were able to attend the meeting this morning.

If you weren't able to be come, please find a link to the presentation that was shared.

If you have any further questions, please email the school and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


Thank you for your support.



We would like to say a very warm welcome to all of our new Year R children and their families starting this year.


We hope you have all had a wonderful Summer and look forward to seeing you for your home visits in the next few days. Fingers crossed that the weather is kind to us for our doorstep visits!

Ideas for sharing wordless books

We appreciate it can be frustrating to receive a book that has no words in it to read however a very important part of learning to read, even before words, is being able to use language to discuss what is seen and understood from pictures. Without the language to talk about and understand a story, it will be very difficult to make sense of the words. Decoding and reading words are skills that come alongside the understanding that print conveys meaning and that sounds can be blended or put together to make words to create sentences. A very complicated process for small people!


Very soon we shall be starting to send home books with simple words and short phrases in if we feel your child is ready for this. In the mean time please find below some ideas to use when sharing wordless books.


  • Predict the story from the front cover/title
  • Identify the main characters in the story
  • Discuss the feelings of characters
  • Predict what might happen next
  • Discuss funny/sad/surprising events
  • Get your child to suggest an alternative ending
  • Ask questions about what they have seen in the pictures
  • Tell your own version of the story after making obvious changes
  • Model how to add exciting vocabulary, what the characters might say
  • Create a new title for the book


Other general book skills that can be practised;

  • Being able to identify the correct way up for the book
  • Identifying whether a book is a story/fiction or information/non-fiction text
  • Knowing the terms title/cover/picture/illustration
  • Practise turning the pages correctly, one at a time and from the corner
  • Picking something simple from the pictures and make a rhyming family using that word

Key information


We follow a daily phonics programme based on the 'Letters and Sounds' scheme. We teach the children to use sounds in their purest form in order for them to blend and read words successfully e.g. 's' not 'suh'. A copy of the sounds taught will be available in the back of your child's reading diary.


Please click here to see the phonemes by order of teaching.


Please click here to see how to pronounce the phonemes correctly.


Please click here to see some ideas for phonics activities to do with your child.


Key words

We have 63 words that we would like the children to know by sight (no sounding out) at the end of Year R. We work on one set per week with the children and then revise all sets periodically so that the children retain their knowledge.

You can find these words at the back of your child's reading diary.



Your child will read with the class teacher or Learning Support Assistant once a week either as an individual or as part of a group. During the reading session specific skills will be taught and practised and the children will be asked a range of questions to check their understanding.


To begin with the majority of children will receive reading books twice a week to share with you at home and when the class teacher feels they are ready your child will be able to change their book when you have shared it with them. This may be every day.


Please remember to write in the reading diary as we use your comments to inform our judgements. We expect date, book title and your initials as a minimum please.


Your child will also participate in whole class reading sessions every day and daily story time in class and an opportunity to choose a book from the school library will be given once a week if your child has returned their previous book.



We use the same 63 key words to practise spellings with the children and we would expect the majority of children to be able to spell at least 45 of these by the end of the year.

The first few sets can be spelt phonetically but there are also quite a few that the children will need to learn from memory. We will teach the children some strategies for learning these trickier words.


Letter formation

Please see below for how children in Year R are taught to form their letters.  Towards the end of Year R some children may start to join their handwriting. 

It is extremely important that your child uses a comfortable and efficient pencil grip, even though this may not be the same as your own. This should be the pincer grip.

How can I support my child at home?


  • Help your child to practise dressing and undressing including being able to turn clothes the right way out
  • Help your child to practise putting on his/her coat and doing/undoing the fastenings
  • Practise cutting up food
  • Make sure child is confident in cleaning themselves after using the toilet including washing hands thoroughly
  • Develop independence and thinking skills by encouraging your child to think for themselves and solve simple problems with minimal prompting
  • Play games which might involve turn taking, rolling dice or moving counters
  • Practise handling different tools such as pencils, scissors, paintbrushes, tweezers, using a correct grip
  • Sing songs and rhymes, anticipating words and repetitive phrases
  • Share stories together, discussing the pictures, plot and characters
  • Read and spell words from the Year R key word list
  • Practise writing your child's full name with correct letter formation
  • Practise writing individual letters, starting in the correct place
  • Read, write and order numbers from 0-10 and 0-20
  • Practise counting a number of objects accurately, using strategies such as pointing, moving and lining objects up
  • Finding pairs of numbers that make 10 as well as other numbers e.g. 5 = 0+5, 1+4, 2+3, 3+2, 4+1, 5+0

Climbing the tree to a better me


Our special tree focuses on the Social, Moral, Spiritual and Social aspect of our learning. In Year R we are practising using our manners, being a good friend and being respectful and responsible.


We can earn three stars for each rung of the ladder and at the end of the year we can earn a special sticker at the top of the tree for our effort in trying to show these things.


When we have collected three stars of the same colour we can show our certificate in assembly and our name is moved up the ladder in class to show our progress.