Upton Noble

C of E VC Primary School

Part of the East Somerset Federation which includes Bruton Primary School

Help Your Child

You can use the information here to support your child's learning at home.


At Upton Noble, we use a synthetic phonics programme called Letters and Sounds alongside the actions of Jolly Phonics.

Children in Reception and Key Stage 1 follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme. It is an approach to teaching phonics in which individual letters or letter sounds are blended to form groups of letters or sounds, and those groups are then blended to form complete words. Children in Reception also use ‘Jolly Phonics’ actions to go with the sounds.

We use a combination of reading schemes which include Oxford Reading Tree and Rigby Star. These give a variety of fiction and non–fiction books to develop children’s reading and comprehension skills. Children learn to read at different rates and we accommodate all readers with books than can best develop their skills and love for reading.


Our daily phonics sessions in Reception are fun, involving lots of speaking, listening and games. The emphasis is on children’s active participation. They learn to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and in their independent play. We encourage ‘sound talking’ to aid recognition of initial sounds and to identify medial and final sounds in words. We can then transfer these skills to enable us to begin to write small CVC words.


Letters and Sounds is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. There are no big leaps in learning. Children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘sight words’ –these are words that ‘you just have to know’. These include the words ‘to’, ‘was’, ‘said’ and ‘the’ – words that you are not able to decode and have to be recognised by sight


Ways you can support your children at home


 - Play ‘What do we have in here?’ Put some toys or objects in a bag and pull one out at a time. Emphasise the first sound of the name of the toy or object by repeating it, for example, ‘c c c c – car’, ‘b b b b – box’, ‘ch ch ch ch – chip’.
 - Say: ‘A tall tin of tomatoes!’ ‘Tommy, the ticklish teddy!’ ‘A lovely little lemon!’ This is called alliteration. Use names, for example, ‘Gurpreet gets the giggles’, ‘Milo makes music’, ‘Naheema’s nose’.

 - The easiest way to support your child with reading is to read and share stories each day. Talk about books and the correct vocabulary that accompany stories and non-fiction texts.

  • - Talk to your child about everything and anything to develop their language and comprehension skills.
  • - Sing songs and nursery rhymes. 
  • - Read poetry and rhymes.


Below are some links to help you support your child with phonics and reading.

Click below for an extensive reference list of words and made up words containing the Phonemes (sounds) from Phase 5 that all Year 1 children are expected to be able to decode for reading.

Key Stage 2 - Questions to ask your child when reading fiction together

General (before reading)

What is the title of the story?
Who is the author?
Who is the illustrator?
Can you predict what might happen in the story by looking at the blurb?
Do you think you will enjoy this book? Why/why not?
Character exploration

Who is the main character?
Who are the other characters?
How has the author described the character?
Does this give you any more information about what kind of person they are? Eg kind, selfish, jolly
Would you like to get to know them? Why/why not?
Why do you think the character reacted in the way that they did in the story?
Would you have reacted in the same way?
How does the character feel about what is happening to them?
Can you point to some sentences in the text that help you find this out?
How would you feel if you were that character?
 Comprehension (needs to be adapted to fit particular story)

Explain what has happened in the story so far in your own words
What issue or dilemma are the character’s facing?
Why has this happened?
Describe the surroundings as you imagine them. What information from the story did you use to help you?
Can you predict what might happen on the next page/in the next chapter?
How has the story developed since the beginning of the book?
When the author writes…………, what do you think they mean?
When the character says………, what do you think they mean?
Why is there an exclamation mark at the end of this sentence?
Exploring own preferences

Did you enjoy the story?
How does the book make you feel?
Have you read any stories with similar themes/issues?
Have you ever experienced anything like what has happened in the story?
Vocabulary extension

Can you think of another word for …………… (eg happy=joyful)
Have you read any words that you don’t understand?
Can you work out what they mean by looking at the rest of the sentence?
Can you spot any words that rhyme with…………?
How many others can you think of?
How has the author described the character? Pick out any words or phrases that really help you to paint a picture in your mind.