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Reading and Phonics


Our English curriculum includes Speaking, Listening (comprehension) Reading and Writing for pupils in Key Stage one and above. The fundamental priority for all pupils at the Bridge School is the development of their understanding and communication in all areas of their school life. Alongside and building on this is the development of the skills and knowledge that may lead to early reading and writing skills.

Love of reading to develop engagement, understanding of language and communication.

Within all the departments, the pupils have multiple exposures to shared reading experiences through a wide range of activities, e.g. whole class shared texts/ rhymes/songs and drama games, as well as classroom and department reading areas. These opportunities allow for pupils to become familiar with these stories, encouraging engagement, enjoyment, and the exposure to familiar and new ‘core’ and ‘fringe’ vocabulary in context.


All pupils have opportunities to access reading areas within school. This may be a designated area in their classroom or the central library areas. These areas have common features, with adaptions based on teachers’ professional judgement of the needs of the pupils in their class.

At the Bridge School, we understand that pupils at early engagement may not independently engage with books and teachers will be working on early skills linked to attention and motivation for these individuals. For some pupils, engagement may be through multi-sensory approaches including auditory, touch and visual stimuli, as well as cause-and-effect activities. Therefore, teachers carefully select and present books based on the pupils’ needs within the class.

Across all key stages, texts have been carefully selected to ensure that we foster a love for reading by including a wide range of stories, non-fiction texts, and poems. We have also included a range of narratives set in the UK and around the world, both traditional and modern, with engaging illustrations from different backgrounds and cultures. Additionally, the texts have been chosen to create opportunities that incorporate our schools identified key areas of learning for our pupils, these are:

  • engagement and enjoyment
  • communication and understanding
  • personal and social development including increasing awareness of self, their own emotions, and relationships with others.
  • independence including life-skills.


In school, all pupils access the DfE accredited Twinkl Phonics programme to support our pupils’ reading and spelling. The programme sets out a systematic and synthetic approach to teaching phonics and we work cohesively across the departments to ensure a progressive and consistent approach is provided.

Twinkl Phonics is an inclusive programme that starts with Level 1, listening and attention skills, then moves through Level 2 to Level 6 where children learn to associate a written letter or group of letters (graphemes) to a sound (phonemes) and begin to blend and segment these sounds for reading.

All pupils engage in three phonics lessons a week, in addition to daily opportunities to encounter/participate in early phonic skills that relate to attention, understanding of language and communication which underpin the whole English / Literacy (EYFS) curriculum.

As pupils engage with Twinkl phonics, we also have a collection of fully decodable reading books. These books are aligned with the sets of grapheme/phoneme correspondences taught in Level 2 and above of the phonics programme. Pupils will systematically move through each text, based on their current knowledge and understanding of specific GPCs.


Whole School Programme of Study

The majority of pupils at The Bridge School will be working towards the National Curriculum KS1 English Reading targets, incorporating word reading and comprehension. 

At The Bridge School, each key stage has a collection of whole class shared texts on a two-year rolling programme. Whilst the coordinators have provided the above programmes, teachers are responsible for selecting texts based on pupils’ prior knowledge, the individual intent and engagement.

In both the Primary and Secondary department, the texts have been
organised into Programme 1 and Programme 2.


Programme 1 -
These texts have been chosen based on their capacity to be made into multi-sensory stories, with opportunities for whole-body learning and sensory experiences that encourage decision making and developing early language skills. The chosen text will provide a context/theme for pupils to engage in learning and to achieve pre-subject cross curricular specific skills and knowledge/targeted outcomes linked to EHCP set with parents/carers and from any advice from other professionals.


Programme 2 -
The texts have been chosen to create opportunities for a range of learning activities, with familiar and unfamiliar stories, illustrations and written text that is appropriate for the pupils’ level of understanding. The texts include story props for sensory experiences, with matching symbols and communication boards that encourage listening, reading, and writing. There are opportunities for recognising and joining in with familiar phrases, sequencing, retelling the story, identifying/ labelling characters, and comprehension tasks.

Curriculum Progression Map