Monster Phonics 

Learning to read is the key to unlocking the wider curriculum, and the foundation for life-long learning. We use Monster Phonics, a whole-class, systematic syntetic phonics programme. This approach ensures that children are introduced to new sounds in a systematic and enjoyable way. You can read more about the teaching of phonics below. The videos provide an overview of some of the key principles of Monster Phonics. 

About the monsters

Monster Phonics teaches children to read by enabling them to identify the individual graphemes (letter combinations) and blend the sounds (phonemes) together to read the word. It is a multi-sensory approach. Sounds are categorised into ten colour groups, and each colour has a corresponding monster character. 

Pure Speech Sounds

Phonemes are taught in a structured and systematic way. Great emphasis is placed on articulating each phoneme clearly. This video illustrates the way in which phonemes are pronounced. 

Long vowel phonemes 

The sounds and actions to support the learning of long vowel phonemes are shown in this video. 

Reading in Key Stage One

By clicking on the links below, you can access suggested lists of books for particular age groups and experience levels. You can also use 'Bookfinder' to suggest new titles along certain themes.



Our Reading Spine

The Reading Spine is a core collection of texts that children will have access to each year during taught sessions. This has been selected so that children enjoy a rich and varied diet of literature, meet well-known authors, and are exposed to a wide range of vocabulary. Children may study elements of these stories during whole-class and shared reading opportunities, in guided group settings and also during independent reading. They may also feature in English lessons, when classes can study them in greater depth. You will also find recommended reading lists below for each year group. We hope that you will find them helpful when choosing books for your child.

File icon: pdf Reading Spine FS and KS1 [pdf 173KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Reception Reading List [pdf 245KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Year 1 Reading List [pdf 269KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Year 2 Reading List [pdf 232KB] Click to download

Phonics, Spelling and Grammar

Encouraging children to be successful independent readers and writers is a fundamental part of learning at the Meadows. Children are equipped with all the skills they need to flourish in their reading and writing through fun, engaging and stimulating experiences. To ensure that all children develop into accomplished literary learners we continuously revisit and build upon vital concepts through our teaching of phonics, spelling and grammar.


In the early learning of reading and writing, we place great emphasis on high quality phonics teaching. We follow the phonics programme Monster Phonics, which is a whole-class, systematic synthetic phonics programme. Children learn all the sounds they need in order to successfully decode, blend and segment unfamiliar words. These sounds are called phonemes and in order for children to develop as fluent readers, it is important that they can:

  • hear and recognise each phoneme in isolation and within words
  • relate each phoneme to letters or groups of letters (graphemes)
  • recognise that words can be broken down (segmented) into sounds and rebuilt (blending)

At the Meadows, phonics teaching begins in Little Learners, where the children become attuned to the sounds around them and begin to develop oral blending and segmenting skills. During Reception and Key Stage One, the subsequent phonemes are introduced at pace through practical, enjoyable and active teaching strategies. Due to the fact that we value the importance of phonics as the foundation of successful reading and writing, we continuously revisit and consolidate the skills taught throughout Key Stage One, and into Key Stage Two. Children have access to phonically-decodable reading books that link to the sounds being taught, enabling them to practise reading and saying sounds in context. 


We encourage the children to use their phonic knowledge to aid them with their spelling choices from the early stages of their learning journey. The children are constantly supported to hear the sounds in words they are trying to spell and make choices that are suitable to their stage. As the children become confident and secure with their sounds, we enable them to make more accurate choices in their spelling. Spelling patterns and rules are introduced using the Word Power approach towards the end of Key Stage One. They are then built upon and developed throughout Key Stage Two. We have high expectations of the children’s spelling and therefore we encourage the correct spelling of high frequency words throughout all areas of the curriculum.


In order for the children to see themselves as accomplished writers, we value the importance of teaching grammar at The Meadows. It is vital that children learn a variety of writing structures and understand what does and does not make sense. This begins in Reception and Key Stage One with the introduction of the simple, but fundamental writing tools: capital letters, full stops and finger spaces. As the children progress throughout the school, they are introduced to the terminology of different words, sentence types and punctuation, as we believe this allows them to make informed writing choices. The children are confident at talking about the grammatical choices that they make and the impact that this has on their writing.

When the children come to the end of their learning journey at the Meadows, we aim to have provided them with the toolkit to be successful readers and writers.

File icon: pdf Phonics Policy 2021 [pdf 478KB] Click to download