Reading and Phonics

Reading & Phonics

The ability to read is fundamental to pupils’ learning across the curriculum, their ability to be independent and their future life choices. Reading development is closely related to that of phonics, speaking and listening and of writing. By reflecting upon and talking about the stories and texts they encounter, pupils are better able to make sense of their own experiences of the world and their place in it; by considering the effects of language and structures used by writers, pupils are able to make deliberate stylistic choices in their own writing.

As a school we use a wide range of reading schemes that are book banded and we use a synthetic approach to phonics to support the development of early reading.

Our Aims

  • To teach the essential skill of reading and develop this to a high standard for all pupils.
  • To promote a culture of reading for learning and reading for pleasure.
  • To benefit from a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics from entry to school
  • To have regular access to high quality phonics teaching which secures the crucial skills of work recognition that enables children to read fluently, freeing them to concentrate on the meaning of the text
  • To enjoy a multisensory approach to phonics ensuring the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles of children are engaged
  • To encourage children to attempt to spell words for themselves, within the range of their subject knowledge, by building an individual repertoire and the confidence and strategies to attempt the unfamiliar
  • To help children to use the skills of blending and segmenting in order to read and spell words
  • To facilitate independent learning and progress across the curriculum.
  • To prepare pupils for the next stage in their education.

All phonics in EYFS and KS1 is taught following the Letters and Sounds document alongside a range of other programmes to create a multisensory approach; Jolly Phonics, PhonicsPlay and Bug Club. We have adopted the suggested daily teaching sequence from Letters and Sounds; Revisit and Review, Teach, Practise, Apply.

From Reception to Year 2 children are streamed to allow the children to learn at their own pace; high achievers can make accelerated progress and those with additional needs gain further support. Pupils who are not working at phase 6 of ‘Letters and Sounds’ by Key Stage 2 will be targeted in Years 3 and 4 for further phonics support. Pupils from Year 3 onwards engage in daily Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) lessons.

Phonics teaching at Huxley CE Primary is multisensory, encompassing simultaneous visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities to enliven core learning. Phonics is taught in short, briskly paced session and then applied to reading and writing in a meaningful context.

All classroom environments have an age appropriate display concentrating on sounds and key words. At Huxley CE Primary School we provide ample opportunities to reinforce and apply acquired phonic knowledge and skills across the curriculum and in such activities as shared guided reading and writing.

Key Stage 1 reading scheme

We use a range of reading scheme books in Key Stage 1 to ensure that the children have access to a broad range of reading experiences. Our books include those with purely phonetically plausible sentences which match the children's phonics phase and those which include more high frequency words. We mirror these schemes in our Guided Reading books.

At Huxley CE Primary School we also use a scheme called PM Benchmarking to support children learning to read.  Our scheme has 24 levels and uses books from a range of publishers that have been selected to interest our children.

1              Pink

2              Pink

3              Red

4              Red

5              Red

6              Yellow         

7              Yellow

8              Yellow

9            Light Blue    

10           Light Blue

11           Light Blue        

12           Green

13           Green

14           Green

15           Orange

16           Orange

17           Turquoise

18           Turquoise

19           Purple

20           Purple

21           Light Yellow        

22           Light yellow

23           Grey

24           Grey

Each level is meticulously crafted: on every page, specialised care is taken with the sentence structures, the choice of words, the clear well-spaced type, and with meaningful, accurate illustrations to ensure a gentle learning gradient for children.  

Once we feel a child is confident and ready they move onto free readers where they are able to select books.  This is still carefully monitored by staff to ensure that children select appropriate books to advance their reading.

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