Phonics & Reading


Book week

little wandle

Reading is extremely important to us. It is imperative we enable children to become independent readers who can easily process information, fully engage in all learning and be well prepared for their next stage of their education. Reading is at the heart of our whole curriculum underpinning every subject area. Children are exposed to a wide range of texts. We promote a love of learning through our Book Award initiative. By offering a wide range of texts we aim to broaden their minds and experiences to allow them to empathise with the world in which they live and support the development of their cultural capital.

We teach early reading through the systematic, synthetic phonics programme Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. Right from the start of Reception children have a daily phonics lesson which follows the progression for Little Wandle Letters and Sounds and this continues in Year One to ensure children become fluent readers. We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers. Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins from the moment pupils start school in the autumn term.

Information for parents about this reading program can be found here:

Reading at home (Reception and Year 1)

Pupils will bring home a reading book that has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading. Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, ask them to decode (sound it out) and blend it. After they have finished, talk about the book together.

Reading for Pleasure

In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. Our library provides children with high quality texts for them to enjoy with you at home. Every class has a designated library slot each week. The children are able to loan books from our school library and also visit it with a home adult on a designated night every week, after school.  All of our library books are catalogued using a system called Libresoft, and the children can log on at home and see which titles they wish to loan from the library.

Daily story time sessions are led by staff. The books that children are read by adults during their time in school form our Reading Spine. These are carefully selected to include classics, up to date award winning authors and books that link to the learning taking place across the curriculum.

Reading Spine

The Book Award is designed to provide children with a list of authors to enjoy during their time in school. Pupils are rewarded with stickers and certificates for completing their book award reading list.  There is an opportunity to win a star prize in an end of year prize draw.

KS2 Book Award Record YEAR 4 example

Modelling Reading

We believe that everybody loves to be ‘read to’ from time to time, and having adults read aloud to our children is very important -whether they are in Key Stage 1 or  whether they are about to embark on Key Stage 3!  Children learn vital reading skills such as: fluency, expression and how the punctuation affects meaning when listen to others read to them.  It’s also really relaxing too – to switch off and let your imagination run wild!  Take a look at the videos of our teachers reading an extract of their favourite books, below.

Providing Time for Reading in School

Reading is a skill to be practiced, as much as it is ‘hobby’ or a activity to support the wellness of our children. A significant amount of time is dedicated to reading in school.

The following skills are taught:

  • Fluency, expression and decoding
  • Vocabulary and the meaning of words
  • Retrieval of information
  • Inference & deduction
  • Summarising
  • Prediction
  • Comparing
  • Authorial intent

Individual Reading Books

Pupils move through the ‘Reading Bands’ as they become more proficient at reading fluently. A library of reading books that follow on from our Little Wandle Early Reading scheme is developing. These books provide us with fidelity to the Collins Big Cat publisher. These are high quality texts that ensure a smooth transition between the ‘bands’.

Reading Bands Poster

Reading with an Adult

We strive to listen to children read on a regular basis and this includes the class teacher, a designated teaching assistant deployed to listen readers, and with the help of ‘volunteer readers.’  All ‘volunteer readers’ are given an induction by the school’s English leader and they are trained in what to look for and how to support the development of reading in our school. Every child is heard at least once per week but those children who require more support with either their decoding, or their comprehension and understanding are heard more frequently.

Voluntary Readers Training

Supporting Parents

The English Leader gives all parents a chance to meet with her regularly when she holds a range of workshops to share how we teach reading, and how they, as parents, can support a child at home with reading.  Phonics workshops are held early in the autumn term for Reception and Year 1 parents, which shares how we teach phonics and information about the National Phonics Screening Check in KS1