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Reading at Riseley

At Riseley C of E Primary School we teach reading using a variety of strategies and methods, which are altered to meet the needs of the children where possible. 

We are lucky to have an excellent Nursery where our children begin their journey to becoming a fluent reader. In Nursery our children spend time listening to sounds, through Nursery Rhymes, sound games, singing activities and by sharing books and listening to stories. 

Children in Nursery experience and work through the 'Development Matters' programme and also use the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile to develop a wide range of skills and abilities. 

At Riseley C of E Primary School we teach synthetic phonics using the 'Letters and Sounds' DfE publication as a central scheme. We also use resources and activities from a variety of other sources to complement Letters and Sounds. This allows us to be flexible and support children's individual needs where required. Some children find phonics very difficult to master and may require a more 'look and say' approach. If this is the case, our children will receive support to learn to read using this method.


In Nursery, children focus on working on Letters and Sounds Phase 1. This covers:

  • General sound discrimination - both environmental and instrumental sounds
  • Using Body Percussion to develop rhythm and rhyme
  • Using alliteration to hear repetitive sounds and create links between words and sounds
  • Using voice sounds to stretch out words to hear sounds within them
  • Oral blending and segmenting e.g. sat s-a-t,  in  i-n. 

Most children will also experience elements of Phase 2 whilst they are in Nursery. This Phase really develops children's knowledge of sounds through exposing them to a wide range of Nursery rhymes, songs, stories and games designed to ensure children are hearing sounds really well.  Once children are ready, they will move on to learning the first 19 sounds. These are taught in order and are regularly revised and revisited across the curriculum to embed them as thoroughly as possible.

  • Set 1: s, a, t, p
  • Set 2: i, n, m, d
  • Set 3: g, o, c, k
  • Set 4: ck, e, u, r
  • Set 5: h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss.

When children move from Nursery into Reception, the progress children have made in Nursery will be built upon and extended. Some children will enter Reception able to recognise and use a wide range of Phase 2 sounds and some will have mastered a few. Provision in Reception takes all of this into account and is deliberately made very flexible to meet children's individual needs. 

All of this phonics work and sounds development is supported by children having access to a rich and engaging range of texts to enjoy and learn about. Reading is a very important aspect of children's learning and we take pride in developing their early reading skills quickly to ensure that children are able to access a wide variety of texts and sources of information. 

The documents below detail Phonics Phases 3, 4, 5 and 6 and the stage when our children will be taught them. They also detail specific sound which children will be learning at each point in their learning. 



High Street, Riseley, Bedford, Bedfordshire. MK44 1DR

01234 708218