Our Approach to Reading, Phonics & Developing a Love of Reading

‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.’

Dr Seuss


‘As a child grows up, being able to read well not only enables them to discover new facts and to learn at school, but also opens them up to a world of new ideas, stories and opportunities.’

Read On, Get On. Campaign 2015

Our aim is to develop children into strong and capable readers who can independently read and who enjoy a range of genres and text types. Everyone in our school is a teacher of reading and with close links between home and school we nurture confident readers. We recognise that the ability to read and understand what is read has a direct impact on an individual’s ability to succeed academically and because of this, we want all our children to read more and love it. We know that reading builds vocabulary, fluency and subject knowledge. We realise that motivation and choice play key roles in reading and aim to provide a text rich environment that provides continual access to books to nurture this love of reading. Engaging story time providing a progressive exposure to stories in all their forms is at the core of our approach. Reading has a very high priority in school life. As a school we regularly focus on one particular book to enable cross class work and discussion which creates a sense of shared reading and excitement based on what we have all read.

Planning, Assessment and Resources: Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One

By the end of the second week at school, in EYFS all children will have taken home a reading book and diary with clear guidance and expectations for parents. This guidance is developed as the children move through the school. It is imperative that engagement with reading is a priority from the very beginning and we work hard to work with families to share the love of reading.

Our children learn to read using the Read Write Inc. phonics programme. They progress onto Read Write Inc. spelling once they can read with accuracy and speed. Continual assessment through the ‘Sound and Entry Assessment’ process ensures we can track the children progress and organise teaching groups accordingly. Phonic lessons take place every day for 30 minutes and through these lessons the children learn to decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, read common exception words on sight, understand what they read and do so with fluency and expression. Children in EYFS and Key Stage One have frequent opportunities to read aloud books linked to their phonics learning to adults in school. Our phonics experts support all staff; offering advice and support, coaching and demonstration lessons.

Planning, Assessment and Resources: Key Stage Two

Once children have acquired the core skills in reading and are able to read aloud with fluency and expression, teaching moves towards developing children’s independent comprehension and understanding of texts. The ability to extract and understand information from writing is an important life skill. During Years 3 and 4 children continue to be taught to read books at an age appropriate interest level with the aim that they read effortlessly with focus more on what they read without having to decode individual words. Quality, contemporary texts as part of whole class reading will often be linked to their cross curricular expeditions. Children have the opportunity to visit the local library every 3 weeks and with the support of the class teacher, choose age appropriate texts to read in class. Once the children have progressed through the school reading scheme they have access to a range of texts.

Differentiation and Intervention

Quality first teaching following a systematic approach underpins all teaching. Constant assessment quickly identifies children who may be struggling and rapid intervention supports them to continue to work alongside their peers at age related expectations. Additional support will be provided for children who find reading a particular challenge which may be in partnership with the SENDCO and external agencies as necessary.

We actively promote and expect children to read at home which is one of the easiest, but most important, ways that families can help their children. We encourage the routine of a bedtime story and for adults to let their children see them reading: for information and for pleasure.

‘You’re never too old, too wacky or wild, to pick up a book to read to a child.’ Dr Seuss