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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 the Letters and Sounds program; please see our whole school overview 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 predominantly 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. We have a vast selection of books from other reading schemes, which have been colour banded, which the children read alongside their phonics reading book; this gives children a wider range of texts, fonts and genres to choose from to meet their reading interests. 


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, even in to Key Stage Two to ensure all our pupils have the phonics 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 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 liaise with Lesley Clarke, a local advisor and direct staff and parents to her planning and resources.


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 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 Year Group Curriculum Maps for further details.