Reading & Phonics


Reading and Phonics at Coppice

Through our English Curriculum we aim to provide all our pupils with the skills to differentiate and remember sounds, communicate, understand, read and write, for a meaningful purpose at a level which is appropriate for them.

Informal Pathway

Pupils on our Informal Pathway will be equipped with the skills to follow and remember routines to help them to live an independent as possible life.  They will be able to recognise signs, sounds and symbols in their environment to help to keep them safe and be enabled to communicate in their own way, to familiar adults and peers so that they can express their needs, wants and feelings and that their ‘voice’ is heard.

Semi-Formal Pathway

Pupils on our Semi-Formal Pathway will develop their ability to recognise and read symbols, words and sentences and can demonstrate they have understood what they’ve seen.  Pupils on this pathway will become more adept at communicating to those around them to make requests, share thoughts and feelings and interpret the sounds they hear, begin to respond appropriately and show understanding of the different sounds within words.  Their mark making will become refined, developing into purposeful writing which can be understood by others and be used as a medium to express themselves.    

Formal Pathway

Pupils on our Formal Pathway will develop the skills to make their mark on the world, using their knowledge to make meaningful life choices.  They can communicate appropriately both socially and more formally, using those skills to develop relationships and self-expression.  Their writing becomes more sophisticated, through different genres and is used purposefully to support their chosen employment pathway.  They are able to read a wider range of texts with fluency, show and share their understanding and develop a love of reading for pleasure.



At Coppice we use an adapted and approved version of Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS)

‘Schools are expected to enable access to appropriate phonics instruction for children with complex needs. Under the Equality Act 2010, they are required to make reasonable adjustments to enable pupils with disabilities to have full access to the curriculum and to be able to participate in it.’

Reading Framework DfE 2022.

Phonics features in all parts of the English curriculum at Coppice, in all lessons both structured sessions and discreet teaching of phonics is evident.   This may be not always be obvious such as through therapies e.g. intensive interactions, use of communication strategies such as PECS, supported play, ‘Letters and Sounds’ is used as a guide specifically for Phase 1 and Phase 6.

A specifically adapted version of the Systematic Synthetic Phonics program Essential Letter’s and Sounds (ELS) is used to deliver Phase 2,3,4 and 5 across school, featuring in our Blue, Green and Orange provision bands.  These adaptations were approved by the authors of ELS ensuring we still have validity to the scheme.  The adaptations give flexibility to pace and delivery to account for capacity to retain information and levels of concentration.

Coppice ELS Phase 1 Planning

Coppice ELS Phase 2,3,4 & 5 Long Term Overview

Coppice ELS Phase 2,3,4 & 5 Weekly Plan


For those year 1 and 2 pupils who are able to, take part in the Year 1 Screening check.


Teaching the Skills of Reading

‘Decodable’ books and texts that children read should run alongside or a little behind the teaching of the GPCs, so that they always feel a sense of achievement when they are asked to read such books.’

The Reading Framework DfE January 2022.

All pupils at Coppice learn to read with an adult during daily 1:1 sessions, books are linked to their phonics phase and are categorised in a system which links both our progression map colour bands and the phonic phases.  Pupils are also encouraged to take these home and share with parents or carers.

Reading for Pleasure

At Coppice we are fortunate to have two libraries which follow our Biophillic design, pupils can access and range of genre’s and text types to choose a book to share with familiar adults, take home or explore and read independently as part of our drive to encourage reading for pleasure.  We also benefit from a multilingual library with a talking pen to support our pupils with EAL to share and discover the joy of books.  At Coppice we are mindful of the fact that a physical book isn’t always the right resource for our pupils and we have a range of e-books, QR codes linked to talking stories and Yoto Players to provide all our pupils with access to stories.

All books are either windows or mirrors, through careful choices our books support our themes through whole class shared stories or sensory stories and help to open the world up to our pupils or support them to recognise themselves in a story, begin to imagine, seek comfort and advice and develop a life long love of books.

For support at home with reading, please follow the link to our Oxford Owl Reading Page 


Herbert the Reading Dog

To meet our dog Herbet please click here.

Theme Core books

As we continue to ensure our pupils experience a range of books, our theme booklets now set out the expectations for the books to be used to support the delivery of the theme.  These have been chosen to ensure they are appropriate for the developmental stage and are progressive in terms of language content.

Coppice Core Books

At Coppice we feel it is important for all our pupils to experience a range of books, from traditional tales to modern classics, we deliver these through our Happy Centered Schools sessions, to see our Core Books, please click on the link below;