Duke Street Nursery School

"Our children and families are at the heart of everything that we do"

Reading and Phonics

Learning to read

Learning how to read is magical, for both children and their parents. At Duke Street nursery school we respect and support early reading skills with a fun and interactive approach which kindles a lifelong love of books and the joy that reading can bring. 


Story Sessions

All our children read one book for a whole week, or sometimes two if the children are still very engaged with it. Throughout the week the children explore the story structure, tune in to new language, discuss their opinions together and grown a real confidence with the text. The children are then encouraged to ‘read’ the story independently or with friends during the nursery session, or sometimes they may take it home to share with their parents. This encourages a real depth of learning which can be seen and heard in the children’s expressions as they read a familiar story over and over again with obvious delight! 


Letters and Sounds

This is a document produced by the government which plans for a structured step-by-step teaching of phonics which is how children learn to read. 

Phase One: This phase provides children with lots of speaking and listening activities which are essential to early reading development. The aim of phase one is for children to become attuned to the sounds around them as they engage in lots of rhyme and rhythmic activities. Parents can help their children at home by singing lots of nursery rhymes and sharing stories together every single day. 

Phase two: During this phase the children are introduced to letters as they learn the different sounds which they make. They learn how to blend and segment letter sounds as they make the first steps of reading and writing. At Duke Street nursery school this is achieved through an active approach with games, actions, puppets and songs.

Phase three: for our very able learners we provide first reading books which are shared together and then sent home. We provide parents with personal sessions to support their child to read effectively in a way which is consistent to our approach at nursery.


Our library is available every Wednesday for children to choose a new book to take home and share with their parents or carers.