How we teach reading

Right from the beginning of nursery, we teach children to read. At age three, the focus is on listening to stories, poems, songs and nursery rhymes; gaining an understanding of print by sharing books with adults; playing with sounds and rhyming words and beginning to understand the link between spoken and written words. Phonics sessions take place daily (see Read Write inc) and by summer term, children will be beginning to recognise some of their set 1 sounds. For advice on how you can support with reading, see the 'Helping my child' section of this page.

Once in Reception, children often begin to 'fly' with reading. The building blocks that have been put in place in nursery mean that children can hear the different sounds in words and have a wealth of story and rhyme experience to draw upon. Children move through Set 1 sounds quickly, as a new sound is introduced daily. Children are taught how to blend sounds to make words c-a-t and are taught 'red' and 'green' words as sight vocabulary - words that they can read immediately, without needing to blend. Children are introduced to books early in reception and progress is often rapid!

As they move through KS1, children continue to have a daily phonics sessions for as long as they need them. The focus shifts to developing reading fluency and comprehension and children are taught to read longer, more challenging texts. This continues as they move up through the school and they (hopefully) develop a love of reading and knowledge of authors.

Any child who is not making the progress expected is identified through regular assessment and targeted 1-1 support is put in place.

Throughout KS2, children take part in Whole Class Reading sessions. Every morning each child takes part in a 40 minute reading session led by their teacher. The sessions focus on a short piece of text or an extract, the text is read aloud by the children before vocabulary is clarified and discussed. The children are then given several fact retrieval questions before the go on to answer inference and deduction questions independently or discuss the text with their partner.

Each week follows the same pattern; on a Monday and Friday, the class work on explaining and summarising what they have read in their class reading book that week before predicting what may happen next in the text. While Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday's sessions focus on fact retrieval, discussion around the text and developing inference and deduction skills. 

Teachers provide the texts in advance of the sessions; children's are expected to read the text in advance so they are prepared for their session. This preparation the day before allows children the opportunity to practise reading the text and understand and absorb the vocabulary used within the writing.