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At Thurston CE Primary Academy, we aim to offer a high quality English education that will enable children to develop a love of reading, writing and oracy skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.  We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children are encouraged to read widely and often, develop their vocabulary and take pride in their writing.

We believe that a secure base in literacy skills is crucial to high quality education and will give children the tools they need to succeed across the curriculum.

Learning to read and write at Thurston CE Primary Academy

In the first instance, we teach your child how to read and write using phonics.  Phonics is a method of teaching children to read by linking sounds (phonemes) and the symbols that represent them (graphemes, or letter groups). 

At Thurston, we use the Little Wandle Phonics Scheme to help your child learn. 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.

You will mostly hear your children talking about Phases 2 and 3 in Reception and Phases 3, 4 and 5 in Year 1. Their phonics learning, however, will continue to be applied in Year 2 and throughout their journey at school.

Click here to visit the Little Wandle parents page to find out more about phonics and watch some support videos

How to pronounce the phonics sounds

It’s incredibly important that children are taught to pronounce phonics sounds accurately to allow them to blend to read with confidence. This brilliant video tells you how to pronounce all of the sounds in Phase 2 and Phase 3 phonics. 

When your child moves onto Phase 5 in Year 1, the sounds are pronounced in the same way as these ones but they are alternative spellings e.g. /aw/ and /au/ in Phase 5 would sound the same as /or/ in this video.

Developing a Love of Reading

Below are a selection of our ‘Must Read’ books for children in Years 1-6. These are high quality texts that we feel will enrich our children’s reading experiences as well as help to take them on a varied reading journey which we recommend for reading choices at home, we have copies of each of these books in school. We will also use some of these books as part of our learning in school and some we will simply enjoy together as a class story. Re-reading and discussing favourite books is such a valuable part of the reading experience and something that can also be enjoyed as a family. Happy reading!


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Reading Newsletters