How We Teach Reading

How We Teach Reading

Reading and Phonics


We want all children to develop a thirst for reading, to know how to choose relevant and engaging texts and to be able to read with fluency and understanding. Sharing and discussing ‘real’ high quality books is central to our approach. We are proud of our library and the use we make of Hampshire Schools Library Service

Reading opens doors to future learning, helping children to develop their own specialisms and interests. We ensure children are taught through a wide range of reading experiences including shared, guided and independent sessions. There is a strong focus on discussing, interpreting and evaluating what is being read and encouraging children to make links with their wider general knowledge. Children show strength in comprehension and their expanding text knowledge helps them to compose as writers. We also work to develop children’s vocabulary and love of language. Guided reading texts are carefully selected to challenge and extend our readers. Texts are also matched to a child’s phonic knowledge so they can apply learnt skills independently.

We fully recognise how vital it is to practise, to re-read loved texts and to develop reading habits at home. We offer weekly drop-ins in each cohort, periodic competitions, curricular workshops and in-school events to enable parents and carers to contribute and work together. There are reading ‘creatures’: Rhino, Rattle-snake, Racoon etc who go home with a child each week to enjoy purposeful ways of reading together. This is then celebrated back in school.

Our outcomes for attainment in reading are a strength, consistently above local and national averages but we always want to build on this success. We are working to improve the accuracy of application of children’s phonic skills, with an emphasis on children being able to blend and apply skills as readers and spellers. Each child is part of a targeted daily phonics teaching session appropriate to his/ her needs. Teaching is based on Letters and Sounds but enriched through a range of multi-sensory approaches to aid recall, application and engagement. For example, children are supported through a ‘cued articulation’ approach to learning letter sounds (as recommended by early years Speech and Language therapists). Each child’s reading record has prompts and reminders about the wide range of taught reading cues they might attempt when trying to make sense of a new tricky word.

Children with specific needs have additional support such as follow-up to Sidney and Language Links screening. Children who lack opportunities to practise and consolidate their reading skills will be given additional opportunities to do so in school. We want children who may struggle as emerging readers to know the value and joy of reading and to grow a resilient attitude. This is matched by frequent appropriate additional support to help boost progress and retain confidence.

We warmly welcome volunteer support for reading, phonic games and story-telling sessions. Please refer to your child’s class teacher who will advise you how to become involved.