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 session

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

  • Guided reading

  • A rich and regular storytime

Our reading framework uses the national book bands, and is a fusion of many different schemes including 'real' picture books, Oxford Reading Tree, Project X, PM Benchmarking and Ginn.


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

Once a week with all groups

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.


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.


Streamed Phonics

We use the Letters and Sounds Programme to teach phonics, supported by Jolly Phonics and LCP schemes of work.


Children receive regular streamed phonics teaching and learning appropriate to their phase of letters and sounds. This is delivered throughout school by highly skilled teacher and teaching assistants.


Story Time


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, imagination and enjoyment.


Reading Areas


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 on computers.


Library Time


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.


Storyteller of the Week


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


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:


  • Story Circle: This is a small group shared reading activity using a big book.  It aims to develop basic reading conventions and strategies with younger children or children with special educational needs.  

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

  • Fischer Family Trust Wave:This is an intensive 20 week programme to boost the reading and writing skills of children.  It is delivered daily by trained teaching assistants.


Structure of Reading Across all Year Groups


Every child participates in shared reading each day.

Every child receives at least one guided reading 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 flashcard support.


Reading at home


Each child takes at least one book home a day.  We recognise that children make better progress when they are supported at home and when there is good communication between child, school and home.


Guidance for parents


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


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



Advice videos for parents/carers 
























and click below to access the Youtube channel


Mr Thorne Does Phonics   


See also the Oxford Owl - a FREE website built to support you with your child’s learning  http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk.  

© 2016 Halfway Nursery Infant School. Created with Wix.com