Heathwood Lower School

Heathwood Lower School

Phonics and Reading at Heathwood

"Leaders promote a strong culture of reading. They have put in place an effective phonics and reading programme. Pupils read often and enjoy talking about the books they know."

Ofsted 2023

Phonics approaches have been consistently found to be effective in supporting younger readers to master the basics of reading and early spelling. 
Being able to read is an important skill children will learn during their early schooling and has far reaching implications for life long confidence and well being.

At Heathwood, we have a high level of focus on early phonics acquisition and development.  Phonics are the building blocks for successful reading, writing and spelling and our intent is to provide high quality phonics teaching and learning experiences to ensure our children develop good skills and an enjoyment of reading. 

We value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our children to become lifelong readers. We acknowledge that children need to be taught the key skills in segmenting and blending and to be equipped with the knowledge to be successful. We also value and encourage the children to read for enjoyment and to develop a love of reading and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills.
The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 and we use Twinkl Phonics as a systematic, progressive validated scheme of work. Phonics is taught daily to children in Preschool, Foundation Stage, Year 1 and moves on to a spelling focus in Year 2. Children are given reading books which are closely matched to the phase of phonics that they are currently working within and children in the Foundation Stage only have books with phonemes that they have been exposed to. When reading with all children, whether individually or in groups, all adults promote and model good phonics skills to ensure transference of good phonics skills into the children’s reading.

Our Phonics Policy

Phonics Progression Map 


Please see below the link to the Phonics presentation from the parent workshop on Wednesday 5th October 2022

Phonics at Heathwood

An introduction to phonics


Reading is an essential life skill which gives children access to so many opportunities.  Being able to read opens up many pathways. Reading is the one most important skill that needs to be nurtured and is developed throughout our school from preschool to year 4.

Reading is important as it stimulates children’s imagination and expands their knowledge of the world. It is helpful for developing children’s language, listening skills, prepares them for writing, learning new things, finding facts, developing deeper thoughts, vocabulary expansion and….. it is fun! 

We believe our role is to support and encourage children and parents to have a positive approach towards reading at home, preschool, throughout their time at our school, and beyond.  Our aim is to provide children with all of these experiences and opportunities.  We believe sharing the same values and ethos throughout the school when it comes to reading, strengthens our children's relationship with books.  A book can take you anywhere…

Our Reading Policy

lease see below the link to the Reading presentation from the parent workshop on Wednesday 19th October 2022

Reading at Heathwood

Please see below link to unique Heathwood Accelerated Reader 
Heathwood Accelerated Reader