Phonics and Reading at Burnside

Phonics Programme

At Burnside Primary School,  we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonic programme with Jolly Phonics’ actions and pictures to support this.


In Reception, our phonics skills begin with speaking and listening. We practise listening for sounds at the beginning, in the middle, and at the ends of words. We also practise blending sounds together verbally to make words. In the Autumn term, we begin teaching children phonemes following the sequence set out in letters and sounds. Children learn the sound, the action and the formation of each grapheme.


As the children become more confident, we teach them how to put these single sounds together to read and write words. Throughout the year, we constantly reinforce the importance of correct formation of these letters, practising in different ways, such as using glitter, sand and playdough. We also focus on High Frequency words, such as home, we, look, I, where the children learn these by sight.


In Key Stage 1, the children continue to follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme but we enhance and support this with a wide range of resources such as whiteboard writing activities, card games, flash cards, interactive on-line and published games, as well as the many interactive activities suggested in the scheme itself.


We have found that following the structure and guidance of the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme ensures a full coverage of phonics sounds and skills and that the enhancement activities allow the children to apply and consolidate their knowledge in a variety of contexts. This then allows them to link phonic rules and strategies to their writing and reading tasks more effectively.


Mr Thorne

Please click here to view Mr Thorne's Youtube channel for help with Phonics pronunciation.


Reading At Burnside
Competence in reading is a life long skill and the key to independent learning. Therefore, the teaching of reading is given a high priority by all Burnside school staff.

 We use a variety of methods to teach children to read. We teach phonics so that children can tackle new words by blending the sounds. In phonics sessions the 42 main sounds of English are taught, not just the alphabet. We also teach some whole words so that each child builds up a sight vocabulary of common words to be used as a start to reading fluently.

We provide attractive, interesting books that the children will enjoy sharing with you. The key reading schemes used in school at the moment are Oxford Reading Tree .

As the children progress with reading they will be offered a wider selection of texts using books for reference and pleasure. All pupils have regular structured access to both our fiction and non-fiction libraries. Teachers read with all children regularly and keep detailed written records.

We have a growing number of parent and community volunteers who support some children regularly on a 1:1 tutoring basis – they are known as reading buddies.

At the start of each new academic year every child is given a Home School Diary and/or  Reading Diary through which parents are asked to share in their child’s learning process by keeping in close contact with teachers on a regular basis.

Each day children will take part in shared reading with the rest of the class. 

Children take their reading book home each night. Reading Challenges are set during the year children to help foster the reading habit.

Success in reading has a direct effect on progress in all areas of the curriculum and is fundamental in developing children’s self esteem, confidence and motivation. It is for this reason we place a heavy emphasis on reading and enjoyment of books from the earliest stage of your child’s education.