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Approaches to Reading

The prime approach to Reading is through systematic synthetic phonics. Children are taught to read through learning the sounds of each letter and segment and blending them together. They will learn digraphs and alternative spellings of these in order to help them read independently.

Early Years

  • Children are taught a wide range of reading strategies; including phonics, sound/letter correspondence, context and picture cues. The school has a variety of pre-readers and reading scheme books used by early readers. Children independently select books to take home to read with their families. Reading Rockets are also sent home to learn tricky words and sight words aligned to each Letters and Sounds phase. These will be continued into Year One.
  • To develop our pupils as readers we:
    • Build on the children’s knowledge and experience of print that they bring to school and involve parents from the beginning.
    • Provide a stimulating environment, where books and other reading materials are presented in an attractive and inviting way. This enables children to see we value books and reading, and will enjoy reading for pleasure and information, and develop an awareness of the importance of reading in their everyday life.
    • Ensure that the children are given extensive experience and access to a quality selection of genre, and plan for them to have time to browse and read for pleasure as well as using books as a tool for learning.
    • Provide opportunities for children to read aloud, on their own, with their peers and with their teachers and also regular opportunities to enjoy stories being read aloud to the class.
    • Give opportunities to respond by talking appreciatively and critically about what they have read, discussing authors, themes, characters, settings and plots.
    • Encourage children to write their own stories or poems, making books or contributing to class books so that they have opportunities to become authors.
  • Jolly Phonics songs and actions are used to help learn the sounds.
  • Children will be learning to record the sounds in cursive print.

Phonics- Letters and Sounds

The teaching of phonic skills is embedded within English teaching in each Year Group.  Additional provision is made each day in our Whole School Letters and Sounds/ SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar). Each session comprises of “word-level” work, focusing on oral phonological skills, sight vocabulary, and phonics. In each session children are also explicitly shown how to apply their developing skills to text and how to apply these to their writing.

In Year One the children undertake a Phonics Screening test, where they read a mixture of 40 real and non-real words. Children in Year Two and Year 6 Six will complete a SPAG test in May/June. 

Guided Reading

Children read a variety of texts and extracts in small groups to their teacher in school on a weekly basis. Children are grouped for reading according to ability and read at an appropriate level. Guided-reading records are kept for each reading group, in which a learning focus and progress notes are noted. They carry out comprehension activities around their reading experiences.

Shared Reading

Regular shared reading takes place across the curriculum where pupils are encouraged to listen, discuss, re-enact and develop their own ideas in co-operation with others. Classes share a text every day to encourage reading for pleasure.

Individual Reading

Throughout the school each child chooses a levelled book to share at home. In this way children are encouraged read a variety of books including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. This exposes them to different authors and styles of writing.  Each child has a WOW book, where dates, titles of books read are recorded and parents are expected to add comments. The reading diary acts as a contact between all who hear the child read, and is an important link with home.

They are assessed regularly and groupings and colour bands are adjusted when necessary.


Each class has an opportunity each week to visit the school library where library skills are taught and developed. Children can choose a book to read at their leisure.