Thythorn Field Community Primary School

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By the end of Year 1 we are aiming for:

At the heart of early reading is phonic knowledge.

Here are two terms that you will become familiar with in Year 1:

  • Phoneme - There are 44 phonemes in the English language, it means the smallest amount of sound. They can be put together to make words.
  • Grapheme - A grapheme is a way you write a phoneme. For example “sh” is a phoneme sound. 

    More examples of graphemes that represent phonemes are:
    1 letter graphemes - p, c, k.

    2 letter graphemes - sh, oi, ow, ah.

    3 letter graphemes - tch, igh.

    4 letter graphemes - ough, eigh.


During Year 1, the teacher will build on work from the EYFS, making sure that children can sound and blend unfamiliar printed words quickly and accurately using the phonic knowledge and skills that they have already learnt. The teacher will also ensure that children continue to learn new grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and revise and consolidate those learnt earlier. The understanding that the letter(s) on the page represent the sounds in spoken words should underpin pupils’ reading and spelling of all words. This includes common words containing unusual GPCs. The term ‘common exception words’ is used for such words.

Alongside this knowledge of GPCs, children will develop the skill of blending the sounds into words for reading and establish the habit of applying this skill whenever they encounter new words. This will be supported by practice in reading books consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and skill and their knowledge of common exception words. At the same time they will need to hear, share and discuss a wide range of high-quality books to develop a love of reading and broaden their vocabulary.

Children should be helped to read words without overt sounding and blending after a few encounters.

Reading - word reading

In Year 1 children will be taught to:

  • apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words
  • respond speedily with the correct sound to graphemes (letters or groups of letters) for all 40+ phonemes, including, where applicable, alternative sounds for graphemes
  • read accurately by blending sounds in unfamiliar words containing GPCs that have been taught
  • read common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word
  • read words containing taught GPCs and –s, –es, –ing, –ed, –er and –est endings
  • read other words of more than one syllable that contain taught GPCs
  • read words with contractions [for example, I’m, I’ll, we’ll], and understand that the apostrophe represents the omitted letter(s)
  • read books aloud, accurately, that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words
  • reread these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading

Reading - comprehension

In Year 1 children will be taught to:

  • develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by:
    • listening to and discussing a wide range of poems, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently
    • being encouraged to link what they read or hear to their own experiences
    • becoming very familiar with key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales, retelling them and considering their particular characteristics
    • recognising and joining in with predictable phrases
    • learning to appreciate rhymes and poems, and to recite some by heart
    • discussing word meanings, linking new meanings to those already known
  • understand both the books they can already read accurately and fluently and those they listen to by:
    • drawing on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher
    • checking that the text makes sense to them as they read, and correcting inaccurate reading
    • discussing the significance of the title and events
    • making inferences on the basis of what is being said and done
    • predicting what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far
  • participate in discussion about what is read to them, taking turns and listening to what others say
  • explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them

►Look what we are learning this term....

The texts we are reading together this term are:

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