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The Development of Early Reading

From the moment children join us in Early Years, there is a focus on developing children’s love of books and reading. We have a well-embedded culture where books, vocabulary and reading take top priority. Through the power of reading stories aloud, singing rhymes and sharing poems all children are exposed to a language-rich environment. Our curriculum projects are designed with reading as the focus with Author and book studies taking the lead; this enables our children to foster a love of reading throughout their time here which will hopefully last a life time.


Alongside this we have a secure, systematic synthetics phonics programme taught from the beginning of reception. We use Lesley Clarke’s Letters and Sounds; please see our Reading Progression Pathway for how this is taught through Early Years and Key Stage One. Daily Phonics lessons enable children to learn graphemes quickly so that they can become independent and resilient readers from the very earliest stage.


We use the Rocket Phonics scheme to allow children to read and re-read books that match their phonic ability.  These books are read at home and at school with a focus on the child developing fluency and accuracy. Children in Year one and Year two have a guided reading session three times a week with a specific daily focus on either decoding, fluency or comprehension.


Effective assessment of phonics throughout Early Years and Key Stage One enables staff to quickly identify children who are falling behind and give targeted support to these pupils. This is tracked across the school to ensure all our pupils have the phonic skills to decode and read with fluency and accuracy. 


We also recognise the huge benefit of practising reading at home and parental support. Our parent workshops held each year and our Early Years / Year One Phonics Workshops are well attended by parents and they too are learning the best ways to support with reading at home.


Our staff, particularly those teaching early reading, continue to develop their skills and expertise by regularly attending training courses related to phonics teaching. We have regular training sessions with Lesley Clarke, and direct staff and parents to her planning and resources.

Further information for parents can be found here.

In Key Stage Two there is a greater focus on encouraging reading for pleasure wholeheartedly, whilst also emphasising the importance of comprehending a wide range of texts throughout the curriculum. Whole Class reading sessions are designed to build children’s stamina as readers as well as challenge them to retrieve facts, clarify words, evaluate and discuss texts in detail. If children still need phonics support they are given this through targeted intervention, regular opportunities to read one-to-one with an adult and have access to decodable books matched to their phonic ability. 


Please see our Reading Progression Pathway and Book Study and Key Text Overview for further details. 

We want all our children to be life-long readers who read for pleasure, using books to access knowledge and explore the world beyond their own experience.

Children will:

  • read fluently.

  • read with expression.

  • read a range of genres for pleasure, both inside and outside of school.

  • make predictions and ask and answer questions about a text reflecting a solid comprehension

  • compare and make links across and between texts.

  • confidently use strategies to clarify the meaning of new vocabulary.

  • read to further their knowledge across the curriculum.

  • confidently choose and read from a range of genres, ascertaining what text best suits the needs.

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