Phonics and reading schemes KS1

The school uses a variety of reading scheme books, mixed with ‘real’ books to teach children to read. Many of our reading scheme books are from the Collins Big Cat scheme, which balances a phonic approach with introduction and use of high frequency words. This is supplemented by, for example, some Oxford Reading Tree and Rigby Rocket books.

Both reading scheme and ‘real’ books are sorted into coloured book band levels which are matched both to children’s age expectations and their technical and comprehension abilities.


The school has chosen to use No Nonsense phonics scheme.



At St. Augustine’s School, books are colour coded in line with the national “book banding” format. This ensures teachers are able to appropriately support pupils in selecting books to read at home and to adults in school.  

We use a range of books from schemes within these banded levels as well as other books being quality author written ‘real’ books. The schemes we use to support reading include “Collins Big Cat”, “PM Readers”, “Oxford Reading Tree” and “Project X” amongst others.  



Each child  receives  a daily differentiated phonics and spelling programme for at least 20 minutes each day. We use No Nonsense Phonics which is based on the DfE Letters and Sounds Programme (2007). The scheme is grouped into phases and pupils progress from Phase 1 to Phase 6. Sessions often follow the revisit/review, teach, practise and apply model and they are often planned to include opportunities for development of speaking and listening, reading and writing. The children are  also given the opportunity  to practise and apply the reading and spelling rules that they have been taught within all subject areas using a cross curricular approach. 

Each June, all children in Year 1 undertake a National Phonics Screening Check. This check consists of 40 words (20 real words and 20 pseudo words) which all children will be asked to read. The focus of this check is to see if pupils can decode a range of words using phonic strategies. 


For more information about the curriculum that is taught in school please follow the link to the government website or you can speak to your child’s class teacher.