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Early Reading and Phonics

At Gatehouse reading is a valuable and rewarding experience, which is celebrated throughout EYFS. The children are exposed to a variety of nursery rhymes and have daily whole class story time. The teachers take pride in creating a stimulating environment which celebrates reading. Each class in KS1 has a specific area for reading, where fiction, non-fiction and poetry can be read, discussed and shared.


In EYFS, Literacy is taught in two week blocks, where the block is based on a text from the children’s interests. When planning, teachers ensure there is a variety of genre taught to ensure coverage across the year. In January, children start to take part in daily teacher-led guided reading sessions, where teachers share quality texts with children and encourage the development of early inference, prediction and sequencing skills through their structured questioning. Reading activities are also embedded within continuous provision.


There is a consistent approach to the teaching of phonics across EYFS and KS1. Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven. At Gatehouse Primary Academy we use this programme along with a consistent structure to phonics lessons; revisit and review, common exception words, teach, practice and apply. 

Phonics phase 2

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Supporting Phonics at Home

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Segmenting and Blending

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Bug Club

Children in KS1 have 3 books that can be accessed at home, these are: an electronic practice book, a book banded reading book and an enjoyment/grapple book.

An electronic practice book: All EYFS and KS1 children have direct access to Bug Club, where books are allocated each week by their teacher with sounds each child is learning that week during Phonics lessons.

A book banded reading book: This book is linked to their reading level and known sounds and children are expected to read this book twice and this is recorded in their reading records.

An enjoyment/grapple book: This book is chosen by the child following their visit to the library and is aimed to promote a love of reading. This is an aspirational text linked to the child’s interests and should be shared with an adult.

How to use bug club

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