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The Teaching of Reading

  • It is our aim to develop enthusiastic and confident readers who can understand a wide range of texts.
  • Children will read for interest, information and enjoyment when accessing all areas of the curriculum.


Children should:

Experience exciting and enthralling books as soon as they enter our school.

  • Know how well they are achieving in reading and be supported towards their targets.
  • Experience text through interactive challenging activities, including the experience of theatre.
  • Be challenged to develop their reading potential and aim high in the complexity of the text and stamina of their reading.
  • Read in a stimulating, happy and secure environment.
  • Access high quality reading resources in classrooms, libraries and using ICT.
  • Experience a variety of creative teaching methods and approaches to develop their comprehension of text.
  • Be supported by a proactive reading partnership of home, school and parish.


Foundation Stage:

Reading opportunities are given on a daily basis.  A wide range of approaches are used to provide first-hand experiences for children.  Children are taught in a stimulating environment that is rich in written print.  Each week, the children in nursery and reception have a focussed story and rhyme which is their starting point for the activities that week. There are focussed periods within the day when groups of children share books in a more structured way - i.e. guided reading.  The class teachers share big books with the class and read stories and rhymes daily.

Each classroom has an attractive reading area with comfortable seating and a quality selection of engaging and appropriate books available.


The school has clear expectations of pupils’ phonics term-by–term, from Nursery to Year 2. (Please see Phonics Long term)

In nursery, children learn to discriminate between sounds in the environment through the use of rhyme, rhythm and alliteration. The foundation stage is a ‘language-rich’ environment that focusses on developing children's speaking and listening skills to lay the foundations of phonics. The emphasis is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. Children will take home wordless picture books to talk about the story and to develop skills such as prediction, inference and justification.

From Reception onwards, children are taught phonics using ‘Phonics Bug’; an accredited DFE systematic synthetic phonics scheme. Children are taught to build up words using their phonic knowledge of known graphemes, digraphs and trigraphs. Children will take home a reading book which contains known sounds. 

Reading at home every day will have the greatest impact on your child’s learning and development. We expect children to read at least 3 times a week.


Key Stage One:

Children are given a reading book at an appropriate level to take home, together with a reading diary.  Children’s individual reading will be monitored by staff and supported by classroom assistants.   It is expected that children read at home with an adult at least three times a week. When a child is ready, they will join the accelerated reader scheme. Reading for pleasure is strongly encouraged. Pupils will take home a library book on a weekly basis to share with parents at home.

Through the use of ‘Phonics Bug’ phonics sessions take place five times a week. During shared and guided reading, phonics work is reinforced in the context of real texts. The English national curriculum provides a wide range of text types.  Writing activities follow on from shared reading with a balance of reading and writing. Each class has a class reader which is changed on a termly basis. Time is allocated during each day for the class reader to be shared.

In Year One the author focus is Julia Donaldson and in Year Two Roald Dahl.  

Each classroom has an attractive Reading area with comfortable seating and a quality selection of engaging and appropriate books available.

Children in Year 1 continue to take home a fully phonetically decodable book to practise and embed their reading skills. Children in Year Two will have the opportunity to join the accelerated reader programme once they have become more fluent in their reading skills.


Key Stage Two:

Children use the accelerated reader scheme, which is a national program used to assist in the improvement of pupils’ reading abilities and their comprehension of what they read. Accelerated Reader matches book choices (and quizzes) to meet their individual reading needs. Members of the Senior Leadership team and class teachers closely monitor the achievement in the quizzes to ensure the children are reading at an appropriate level. Where appropriate children are heard read by an adult in school.  It is expected that parents also hear their children read at least three times a week and sign in their planners.

Pupils who need to develop their phonetic awareness will receive a phonics session three times a week and be in a group according to the phase that they require.

Children at Our Lady of Grace are exposed to high quality literature in every year group. Each class has a class novel, which is shared on a daily basis and changed half-termly. Each classroom has an attractive reading area with comfortable seating and a quality selection of engaging and appropriate books available in order to develop children’s reading for pleasure and promote positive attitudes towards reading.


Furthermore, the range of books used is vast and matches the reading range that is needed to meet the children’s reading level using the Accelerated reader scheme.


Guided Reading

The purpose of a Guided Reading session is to deepen children’s inferential, retrieval and decoding skills. Following on from ‘Phonics Bug’ the children in Key Stage Two are exposed to high quality text using ‘Phonic Bug Comprehension’.

Bug Club Comprehension provides 30 weeks of teaching for each year group, with ten weeks of teaching per term. Each week of teaching is anchored by a key text. Texts are varied in genre and style, and some are studied for one week while others are studied over a period of up to five weeks. Guided reading takes place outside the standard English lesson.