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Reading and Phonics

You can see details of the national curriculum for English here.


At St Anne’s we want all children to develop a love of reading! Reading gives you wings not only to escape to wonderful worlds and places and be someone different, but also is the key to great achievements in school and life. Learning to read independently and confidently is one of the most important skills children will learn here at St Anne’s.

Reading develops children’s vocabulary across the curriculum and we spend considerable time exploring new words and their meanings. We want the children to have exposure to a range of high-quality texts that support developing them as a reader and their knowledge of the world.

The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that, within reading, all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • maintain positive attitudes to reading and understanding of what they read
  • discuss and evaluate how authors use language, including figurative language, considering the impact on the reader
  • distinguish between statements of fact and opinion
  • retrieve, record and present information from non-fiction
  • use discussion in order to learn
  • speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English

Phonics and Early Reading

Teaching staff are passionate about the teaching of phonics. Through our phonics scheme, ‘Rocket Phonics’, the children are taught how to link the knowledge of sounds (phonemes) and the recognition of their corresponding symbols (graphemes). This is taught from Reception onwards.  

As the children build words through their recognition of sounds they will consolidate this through our reading scheme ‘Rising Stars’. Both these schemes work together to ensure the children become fluent and confident readers.

Daily discrete phonics lessons are taught from Reception to Year 2 with half termly assessments to ensure all learning is embedded. Each lesson takes the format of:

  • Revise:  The children will revise previous learning.
  • Teach: New phonemes or high frequency or tricky words will be taught.
  • Practice:  The children will practise the new learning by reading and/or writing the words.
  • Apply:  The children will apply their new learning by reading or writing sentences

All children are read with at least once a week. If any child needs extra support with reading, they will read more regularly with an adult. In Key Stage 1, all books read within the class, target reader books, are focused on the phonics learning that week and all children’s individual reading books that they take home are books that are fully decodable and specific to the individual child’s phonics ability.


Guided Reading

Throughout Reception, Key Stage 1 and Key stage 2 the children have regular guided reading sessions. This is in small groups in Reception & Key stage 1 and at whole class level in Key Stage 2. In these sessions, the children will be encouraged to read fluently and confidently. The teacher will focus on key comprehension skills, e.g. inference, retrieval, prediction and questioning. Children will respond to these questions both verbally and in a written form.

Daily Story Sessions

All year groups have a high-quality daily story time where they listen to a wide range of texts. As important as individual and group reading is to a child’s reading development, so too is having a rich text read aloud to them. Not only will they be listening to texts that will extend and stretch their reading capability but they will also be exposed to a rich language and vocabulary. The children enjoy these daily reads and their engagement in the texts gives rise to great discussions.

World Book Day & Book fairs

Our annual Scholastic Book Fair falls in the same week as World Book day and gives all children the opportunity to purchase books and help contribute to free books for the school. We encourage all our children to attend the book fair and explore the possibility of different texts and genres that they may not normally choose.

On World Book Day, the children share their favourite stories, dress up as their favourite characters and read to their younger prayer partner year groups. The children relish these opportunities and enjoy sharing a wide range of genres and much-loved books.


School Library & Library Visits

We have a school library with the theme of Hogwarts. This theme was chosen by the children and created with the school & PTA. Children are given the chance to visit regularly to hear stories and read exciting books together.

Having Banstead library on our doorstep enables the children to familiarise themselves with a wider range of books, listen to story times with the Librarians and encourages them to borrow books after school and at the weekend. Throughout the year, children are able to complete library reading challenges.

How we further support children with reading

  • On-going assessment leads to swift intervention that is focused on supporting children in closing gaps in their phonic knowledge to support them with reading and writing.
  • Those who are identified as needing further support in reading benefit from a 1:1 daily individual read/extra phonics sessions.
  • Class teachers use targeted questioning to encourage children to think more deeply about what they are reading and to answer more challenging comprehension questions.
  • Children are encouraged to read with an adult for 10 - 20 mins at home every night, depending on the year group.
  • Teachers and parents use reading records to monitor and track the children’s progress when reading at home and at school but also to ensure there is continuity at home and at school.
  • We provide early reading workshops for parents and are available to support parents if they need further guidance.

For the love of reading

Hearing our children read, reading to our children and by giving our children access to a wide range of books at home and at school, we are encouraging and developing them to foster a love and enthusiasm for reading that will last a lifetime.

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