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Our Approach to Teaching Reading

Word reading skills and strategies



Every day each child will be engaged in -

  • Speaking, listening, reading and writing activities which allow them to explore and practice their phonic knowledge, blending and segmenting skills independently

  • An interactive multisensory phonics/SPAG session

  • Shared reading and/or writing led by the teacher to demonstrate reading and writing strategies (including phonics) in a meaningful way

  • Guided reading, or a whole class reading session through our Reading for Inference approach

  • A rich and regular storytime


We also offer 1 to 1 reading where possible and also independent reading sessions to ensure children have a rich reading diet.

Our reading framework uses the national book bands, and mainly Phonics Bug so children have the opportunity to apply their phonics learning to phonetically de-codable books.  We also have books from different schemes available, including 'real' picture books, Oxford Reading Tree, Project X etc.


Shared Reading (every day)

The teacher models the reading process and the children are actively involved; listening to the text being read aloud, joining in and following the reading, and contributing to discussion and response. Children learn how to apply the knowledge and skills they are acquiring in daily word level work. The teacher leads discussion about the text to help children develop their understanding. Children learn how to interpret and make sense of what they read.


Guided Reading and Reading for Inference lessons

Guided reading happens once a week with all groups, where a skilled adult works with small groups of children who are able to read at a similar level. The adult scaffolds the learning by guiding children through the text and prompting them to apply what they’ve learnt in shared reading and other literacy activities.

We also teach blocks of Reading for Inference sessions in between blocks of Guided Reading sessions each term.  These are whole class sessions where children have their own copy of a class book and the adult teaches specific reading skills, with a focus on comprehension incl. Inference. 


Independent Reading

Once a week with Teacher/Teaching Assistant - alternate weeks for targeted children

Adults listen to children read 1 to 1. They spend time addressing children’s individual reading targets and promoting key reading strategies. The adult will also spend some of this time questioning the child about what they have read and focus on developing comprehension skills.



Phonics teaching is taught explicitly in our school.  Each day, all children in school receive a minimum of 20 minutes direct phonics teaching where they learn about sound-spelling relationships.  Within this they play fun, active, fast paced games and undertake a range of activities with opportunities to segment and blend words and apply learned grapheme-phoneme relationships to their reading and also learning phonics rules.


The school follows the Phonics Bug scheme to structure the daily phonics session. The Phonics Bug scheme aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills and provides a clear skills progression across school , with the aim of children becoming fluent readers by age seven.


Multi-sensory methods such as actions for the phonemes are also used to help motivate and engage children, and help them commit learning to memory.


Story Time (every day)

The children have a story (from a range of genres) read to them everyday in school. This actively promotes the positive role model of adults reading for pleasure and exposes children a wide range of story language, develops imagination and comprehension skills, as well as enjoyment from books.

Reading Areas (ongoing)

Every class a designated reading area with a range of texts covering different genres.  Children have free and regular access to this area (at the discretion of the class teacher), to read and share books with friends. Audio stories are also available in listening areas and/or on computers.


Library Time (ongoing)

Children have regular opportunities to borrow books from class libraries and from the school library. Every class has a selection of books (fiction, non-fiction and poetry) for children and parents to borrow to read together at home, in addition to phonetically decodable books (books and also ebooks) which reinforce phonics learning in class.


Storyteller of the Week (weekly)

Each week the class teacher chooses a child to become the ‘storyteller’. They then re-tell a favourite story or use a story map to tell a story used from their class work to the whole class. This strategy allows children the opportunity to use story language, re-tell key events, structure stories and develop reading strategies such as intonation and expression.


Book of the Week (weekly)

Every week each class has a book focus. This can be a picture book, big book or interactive text. This text is then used to stimulate learning in literacy for that week. Children discuss key features of the book of the week, such as genre, style, author etc.


Reading Interventions


From careful analysis of pupil data class teachers are able to monitor progress of all children in reading.  We have the following interventions which are used to support children and accelerate progress in reading:


  • Arrow Reading - this is a highly effective ‘reading into writing’ intervention we use for KS1 children, with great results on progress!

  • Reading Volunteers - Specially trained community volunteers are assigned to specific children.  These children have 1-2 sessions per week with their volunteer.

  • Phonics booster sessions with a highly skilled adult to help address any gaps in learning 

  • Greater depth reading/writing interventions

Structure of Reading Across all Year Groups


Every child participates in shared reading each day.

Every child receives at least one guided reading session or Reading for Inference session every week.

Targeted children receive individual 1-1 reading sessions at least once per week with a skilled adult.

Story Circle is used with targeted children on a weekly basis.

Reading Volunteers are used on a weekly basis.

Targeted children are given weekly phonics interventions.


Reading at home


Each child is able to take home at least one book per day.  We recognise that children make better progress when they are supported at home and school when there is good communication between child, school and home. Our Phonics Bug resources help support this as teachers can assign ebooks and phonics/SPAG activities for parents and children to access at home to consolidate learning in school.

Guidance for parents


Download leaflets providing guidance for parents/carers on helping children to learn to read here -


Reading guidance for parents - pink and red bands


Reading guidance for parents - yellow, green and blue bands


Reading guidance for parents - orange, turquoise and purple bands


Reading guidance for parents - independent readers


Reading guidance for parents - phonics

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