Our Curriculum




The importance of reading:

Reading regularly is important and matters. As stated in recent Department of Education guidance, ‘The Reading Framework: July 2021’, ‘reading matters emotionally, culturally and educationally’ and ‘it matters to everyone’. At Horsford, reading is the centre of school life. From the teaching of phonics and whole class guided reading; to welcoming book corners and libraries; to daily story times and the introduction of reading buddies and reading champions; the children have access to good quality reading experiences, multiple times a day.

Reading regularly, reading for pleasure and reading at home:

As also stated in the recent reading framework, ‘children who enjoy reading and who are good at reading will do more of it’. Children who read and are read to regularly will have their vocabulary expanded and will learn more both academically, emotionally and socially. At Horsford, the children are encouraged to explore a variety of different texts including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and rhyme, to help support and develop a love of reading. The children also read and are read to on a daily basis.

Top 100 recommended reads for Reception

Top 100 recommended reads for Year 1

Top 100 recommended reads for Year 2

Top 100 recommended reads for Year 3

Top 100 recommended reads for Year 4

Top 100 recommended reads for Year 5

Top 100 recommended reads for Year 6




In the Nebula Federation we believe that all children can become fluent readers and writers. We want children to develop a life long love for reading, and we believe that children should have access to language rich books and texts. Phonics provides the foundations for children to become fluent readers (decoders) and writers (segmenting for spelling).

Across the federation, developing a love of reading and the teaching of phonics is a high priority. Developing a love of reading is a core part of our practice in school. To support this, the children choose a reading for pleasure book from our libraries to take home and share with their families. The children will also take home a phonics focus book – these books only contain taught GPCs in line with our systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP). The purpose of a phonics focus book is to develop blending and segmenting skills.


In the Nebula Federation, we use the Nebula Federation Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme (as audited by the Wensum Hub Trust in September 2021) for teaching phonics. Phonics is taught to all children in reception and KS1 daily. Teachers and support staff show fidelity to our programme by using the long term plan, supporting documents and resources matched to our phonics programme

- Each phonics lesson contains the following elements:

1. Revisit/Review - look at previously taught phonemes, graphemes, grapheme-phoneme correspondences, blending and segmenting skills.

2. Teach – Introduce new phonics learning linked to the phonics programme.

3. Practice/apply – Implementing the new learning. This could include practicing blending and segmenting skills.

4. Assess – monitor the learning within each phase of the lesson to inform future planning.

In reception, children will learn twenty two phonemes in phase two and twenty seven phonemes in phase three. Pupils will learn how to blend and segment GPCs in order to read and write words. Reception children will also learn fifty sight words. In phase four pupils will learn how to blend and read words which contain adjacent consonants and multisyllabic words. Towards the end of their reception year, children will be exposed to a further twenty phonemes (initial alternative spellings).

In year one children will begin the year by consolidating their learning from reception through systematic consolidation blocks. The children will learn alternative pronunciations and they will be exposed to the remaining alternative spellings in phase five. This is linked to our 44 sounds chart.

In year two the children begin by consolidating learning from year one and they then move towards looking at rare alternative spellings, reading and spelling pattern rules as linked to the National Curriculum. In the summer term the children are supported to master reading and spelling skills, in order to support them in accessing the year three curriculum.

Children at risk of falling behind are quickly identified through daily lesson assessment and half termly phonics assessments (phonics tracker). Class teachers and support staff plan phonics interventions using the lesson assessment and phonics tracker assessment to ensure that all children make progress. Additional phonics provision has been put in place for children in key stage two who may need additional support (e.g. as the result of COVID 19 school closures).


Through the teaching of phonics and our reading comprehension curriculum, our aim is for all children to become confident readers by the end of KS1. Progress and attainment in phonics is assessed and monitored using in lesson assessment, phonics tracker, the statutory phonics screening check and KS1 statutory assessment (SATs).

Phonics Long Term Plan

Phonics Academic Breakdown - Reception

Phonics Academic Breakdown - Year 1

Phonics Academic Breakdown - Year 2

Nebula Systematic and Synthetic Programme for Phonics - 2023-24