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Reading & Phonics

at St Elisabeth’s CE Primary School


Daily guided reading sessions provide regular opportunities for children to practice and develop their skills. Reading in school is supported by home reading. Every child has a reading record that teachers, parents and carers are expected to sign as a record of the child’s reading behaviours and experiences.

We use a combination of reading schemes to promote independent reading.  These provide a variety of fiction and non–fiction books and extend reading phonetically. Children learn to read at different rates and it is important that children can talk about what they have read. Once they finish the reading scheme, we encourage them to become ‘free readers’ and choose their own books.

Key Stage Two are taught to read using a range of strategies and they continue with the structured phonics programme. We supplement the reading schemes with a wide range of diverse fiction, non-fiction and poetry including classic children’s literature.


Children in both Nursery and Reception engage in daily phonics sessions, following the Little Wandle guidance to ensure they develop their phonic skills. Skills learnt and developed in these sessions are integral to the development and confidence levels in writing for each child.  As children progress through the phases within letters and sounds, they learn how to write phonetically correct words and ‘tricky’ words such as’ to’, ‘go’ and ‘the’. Children who are not on track are given the opportunity top participate in the ‘daily keep up’ programme from Little Wandle’.

Year 1 Phonics Screening

Children in Year 1 will sit the Phonics Screening Check in June each year. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2. During the Phonics Screening Check, children are asked to read 40 words. Most of these words are real words but some are pseudo-words. Pseudo-words are included to ensure that children are using their decoding skills and not just relying on their memory of words they have read before.

Intent – why we teach what we teach

We provide a reading curriculum that gives children an opportunity to enjoy and engage with books from a range of authors and genres. Through reading we give children a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually socially and spiritually. Literature, especially plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. The skill of reading helps pupils to participate fully as a member of society.

During their time at St Elisabeth’s CE, we believe that children should have a range of opportunities to develop. their reading skills. Consequently, the children will have the opportunity to become increasingly proficient and confident at:

  • Reading easily, fluently and with good understanding.
  • Develop appropriate reading skills such as inference, skimming and scanning and summarising.
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for pleasure and information.
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading.
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.
  • Use discussion about texts in order to learn: they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.

Implementation – how we teach what we teach

At St Elisabeth’s CE reading in EYFS is taught through the Reading early learning goal.  Children have the opportunity to read through daily shared and guided reading sessions as well as participating in reading activities in the learning areas both indoors and out.

In Key Stage 1, children participate in daily reading activities through guided and shared reading and activities on the reading carousel. The children also develop written comprehension skills.

In Key Stage 2, children continue with guided reading taught in differentiated groups and shared reading as a whole class, together with comprehension work in.  All KS2 children continue to receive opportunities for independent and shared reading through daily literacy activities.

In Nursery, children take home a weekly library book to share with an adult and if appropriate a home/school reading book. From Reception to Year 6 follow the book banding system and take books home weekly that are closely correlated to their guided reading band.

Impact – how we measure what we teach

The impact of this reading curriculum is that children will be literate, their lives will be enriched and they will be inspired to further explore the world of books and the creative and informative opportunities that this offers. The children’s learning in reading is assessed each half term  using the National Curriculum from Year 1 to 6 and using ELG in EYFS. This is reported formally to parents at the end of each academic year. The progress of each child will be tracked throughout their time at St. Elisabeth’s CE Primary.

Volunteers Reading In School Information

All our volunteers in school are crucial to the progress children make in reading from Nursery to Year 6.  All the attached information provides you with the details, our volunteers use.

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