EARLY reading & phonics

what we learn

The Key to all Learning

At Shere School we know that reading is the key to all learning and so much more besides. We want children to read to aid their learning, for example to be able to locate information and knowledge or to learn a new skill – we call this reading for purpose.

Beyond this we want all children to know that reading can provide an escape from their current reality, can introduce them to new places, ambitions and dreams and is an amazing tool to support one’s mental health – we call this reading for pleasure.

Phonics at Shere

To ensure our children are equipped with all that they need to be competent and confident readers we start teaching reading skills from the very start. At our school, we follow the Monster Phonics scheme. This is an award-winning, multi-sensory phonics programme which uses colour to consistently code for key graphemes in English. It is unique, in that it uses character (monster) phoneme cues and colour-coding to represent the long vowel sounds, silent letters and tricky letters.

We have selected the Monster Phonics Programme (DfE validated) for its fun and engaging content, and because it is designed to meet the needs of our youngest learners in Fox Cubs Nursery. In recent years our wonderful parents raised funds enabling us to purchase a great selection of high-quality reading books that closely match our scheme, this means that children can bring home books to read with you at home.

Visit MonsterPhonics.com for a parents guide to Monster Phonics

Our parents also enjoy access to all of the resources we use at School to help support your child’s phonics journey at home. You can access these by clicking the button above and logging into the website using the username: ShereParents and the password: PhonicsParents2023*  There are also regular online ‘Guide for Parents’  sessions that you can sign up for by clicking the ‘events’ tab.

Feel free to ask your child’s teacher if you have any questions about the Monster Phonics scheme.

Progression in Phonics

Phonics in Foxes

In Foxes class the children learn the first phoneme (sound) and grapheme (letter) correspondences. They learn to blend sounds together to read and write whole words and simple sentences.

Click to view the YR Progression Map to find out more about the learning journey for Phonics in Foxes.

Phonics in Hedgehogs

In Hedgehogs class the children learn that there are many alternative spellings for phonemes (sounds). They continue to practice blending sounds together, and learn to read and write more complex sentences.

Click to view the Y1 Progression Map to find out more about the learning journey for Phonics in Hedgehogs class.

Phonics in Owls

Children in Owls class are building stamina with their reading and writing. They consolidate their previous learning and develop their knowledge and skill with the rules of grammar within their Phonics lessons.

Click to view the Y2 Progression Map and see how Owls class consolidate their previous learning and focus on building their grammar knowledge and skill.

Story Every Day

At Shere School we simply love stories! Our children love nothing more that listening to their teacher share a great book at the end of a busy day. To ensure children hear the most wonderful books the world can offer, teachers have created a reading spine of the books they guarantee children will hear during their time at Shere School.

Phonics & Early Reading in Practise


“English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.”

National Curriculum