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Our overall approach is "learning to read, reading to learn". 


Our aim is that all children are fluent, confident and independent readers.  We want to lead them to a world of discovery through books and to be delighted, informed, challenged, educated and entertained in their reading. 

We are proud of our:

  • exceptional range of carefully chosen, inspiring, new and classic books which reflect the diversity of our community so that children can see themselves represented
  • engaging, dynamic phonics programme
  • comprehensive, ambitious programmes of study for all ages 
  • excellent training for staff and parents in our approach to teaching reading


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Learning to Read

Our bespoke, systematic synthetic approach to teaching early reading and phonics is:

  • always given a high priority in the school day
  • highly structured, building confidence and skills rapidly for independence
  • matched to the phases of ‘Letters and Sounds’ and includes phonics and 'words to learn'
  • engaging through use of clear symbols, songs, actions and resources
  • based on a track record of excellence and delivers excellent outcomes.


We develop motivation and interest through: 

  • skilled, committed and engaging teaching of reading
  • an excellent quality and range of shared resources
  • an inspirational range of books for children to read and for teachers to read to them
  • use of clear, consistent strategies for teaching word reading
  • a charming, helpful  (and sometimes cheeky) phonics bear called Fred.
  • high-quality training for staff and parents. 

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Reading to Learn

'The ultimate goal of reading is comprehension’

We teach reading comprehension using the reciprocal reading approach which provides a clear model for the children to structure their thinking about what they are reading. The strategies taught are predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising which allow children to explore different aspects of the books and, when discussing it with each other, they will talk themselves to a better understanding of the text.

We provide:

  • an excellent, inspiring range of texts in our curriculum
  • a clear structure based on reciprocal reading 
  • clear teaching steps to help understanding
  • high-quality training for teachers 
  • an approach which works for all ages
  • a model for children to 'talk themselves into a better understanding'        

Nursery and Reception


In the Foundation Stage, work is in accordance with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The objectives stated in the Framework are introduced gradually and are in place for the last term in the Reception class.  We use the Early Years outcomes, a non-statutory guide for practitioners and inspectors and Development Matters, to help inform understanding of child development through the early years. We teach children the skills they should develop for their age range and make sure will accelerate children’s learning for those who are behind and challenge the more able. 


The teaching of phonics is based on the government programme of study, ‘Letters and Sounds’. It is based on a structure of six phases, teaching from Nursery until the end of Key Stage 1. Phonic lessons are taught throughout the EYFS and KS1 daily for 20 minutes. Each lesson consists of a review, teach, practise, apply approach, in order for children to become secure in their phonic knowledge. Children meeting secure age-related expectations, work within the appropriate phase outlined by the Letters and Sounds document. Any children who are working significantly below or above age-related expectations may be included in the teaching of a different phonics phase, to ensure their learning needs are met.

Fred, the Bear, helps our children in their Phonics lessons. Fred can only 'speak' in pure sounds and needs the children's help to blend.

A clear teaching progression from Reception to Year 2 has been mapped with weekly objectives identified.  It is intended that each year group in EYFS and KS1 will be secure in the following phases by the end of the year:

  • Nursery will begin the teaching of Phase 1
  • Reception classes will be secure in Phase 2, 3 and 4 with Phase 1 continuing to be taught alongside these phases.
  • Year 1 will revise phase 4 and be secure in Phase 5, with Phase 1 being taught alongside.
  • Year 2 will revise phase 5 and will introduce Phase 6 and key phonic and spelling objectives from the government document ‘Support for Spellings’. 

In each phonics lesson the daily phonic objective will be reinforced through the teaching of High Frequency and Tricky Words within each phase. These words will form a basis for children’s weekly spellings to be learnt at home. All lessons are appropriately differentiated to meet the individual child’s needs and are identified on the weekly planning.  


Assessment and Evaluation of Phonics Progress and Attainment

The children are assessed regularly and teaching adapted as knowledge and skills are acquired. Formal assessment and progress are recorded at the end of each term and/or at the end of each phase. This is recorded on individual assessment sheets and the data collated and put onto a class tracking sheet. The tracking sheet data is monitored by the phase leaders each term and used to inform future planning. This information also forms a key part of discussions in half-termly Pupil Progress meetings with Senior Leaders. Children who are not making satisfactory progress are identified and extra support is put in place, either in phonics lessons or as part of an intervention programme. 

Reading for Pleasure


Pupils are encouraged to read widely and often. Our home school reading programme emphasises the crucial role that regular reading at home has in developing confident and fluent readers. We have well stocked school libraries and all classes have a weekly session where they borrow a book to either read in class or take home. We are developing our outdoor reading area to encourage pupils to read outside at playtime.

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Home-School Shared Reading Scheme

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We aim to encourage reading to be developed both as a fundamental skill and an enjoyable activity through a home-school approach. The scheme is implemented in the Nursery and continues throughout the school. A Reading Record booklet shows the book chosen, has room for comments, and also provides advice and guidelines both for parents and for children themselves as they become independent readers. With guidance, independent readers choose a book from either the class library or school library to take home.


Enrichment Opportunities

Lunchtime book clubs are run for children in Years 2 to Year 6.

To encourage book ownership and to further foster an enjoyment of reading, children are given opportunities to purchase books from the school Book Fair during Book Week. In addition, authors, poets, drama groups and performers are invited in and children are encouraged to take part in whole school activities such as dressing up as a favourite book character. Children are invited to donate a new book to the school library if parents and carers wish to celebrate their birthdays in school.

Article ImageOur Annual Book Swap

Each year, we hold a Book Swap where children are invited to donate books to school in exchange for tokens that they can swap for a book that's new to them. We have great fun every year!


Useful resources for Parents


Reading Workshop for Parents 

Phonics Workshop for Parents 

Department of Education Reading assessments for EYFS, KS1 and KS2