Parklee Community Primary School

Positivity, Aspiration, Resilience, Kindness, Loyalty, Empathy, Excellence

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Reading and Phonics

Statement of Intent

At Parklee Community Primary School, we believe that the teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences, and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves.  Our reading curriculum strives to foster a lifelong love of reading.  We aim to cultivate the behaviours that they will need to be discerning readers as they read frequently and widely using self-regulation strategies and discuss what they read. Our curriculum is delivered through synthetic phonics, a linked approach to shared and guided reading, home reading, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality texts read aloud each day.  All of these are essential components as they offer the range of opportunities needed to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers.

It is important that children are motivated to read at home regularly; when their reading opportunities increase, so does their fluency and stamina which in turn increases their enjoyment of reading.  Therefore, the link between children’s motivation to read and reading for pleasure is reciprocal.  Furthermore, we know that reading pleasure is beneficial not only for reading outcomes, but for wider learning enjoyment and mental wellbeing.  Thus, we work hard to foster a love of independent reading and build communities of engaged readers. We understand the significance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills so we endeavour to build a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to have the confidence to support their children with reading at home.

Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum.  We are committed to promoting a love for reading and not only giving children opportunities to read in English lessons, but in the wider curriculum too.

Implementation (Early Reading and Phonics in EYFS)

Learning to read is one of the most important things a child will ever learn.  It underpins everything else, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.  We also want every child to develop a real love of reading and to want to read for themselves.  This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read. 

We start by teaching phonics in Nursery and throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. We are currently using Bug Club Phonics and reading scheme. Bug Club Phonics is a systematic synthetic phonics resource to help and support our children as they learn to hear, say, read and write sounds and words, captions and sentences. Phonics lessons follow the ‘Revisit, Teach, Practice and Apply’ format. Phonics lessons are fast-paced and repetitive in order to introduce, recall and embed learning.

Children in Nursery are introduced to Phase 1 phonics through small, focused groups and activities.  This includes learning to make different sounds and developing listening skills.  When appropriate, the practitioners will then introduce the initial sounds. 

In Reception, children revise all letter sounds and learn new digraphs and trigraphs.  At this stage the children also become more confident with segmenting and blending sounds to read whole words.  In Reception, children are also taught words with 4 and 5 sounds in them and alternate ways to read and write different sounds. This continues into Year 1 and 2 as appropriate and children learn to read and write a range of graphemes and alternate graphemes. Alongside this the children are taught the ‘tricky words’ – high frequency words which do not follow the regular phonetic pattern. Phonics and reading activities are taught in whole class and small group situations. Discreet phonic sessions take place daily for 15 - 20 minutes and there are also enhanced phonic activities within the indoor and outdoor environment available for the children to explore independently throughout the day (EYFS).  Phonics provision is also supplemented by a wide range of speaking and listening, English, spelling and grammar activities.


Guided reading is taught in Reception during the week using ‘Super 6’. Children are taught a range of reading and comprehension skills using ‘VIPERS’, to enable them to verbally answer and respond to a range of questions based on a variety of books. Six books have been carefully chosen each half term to incorporate an array of themes, messages and genres including, traditional tales, mental health and well-being, diversity, repeated refrains and environmental issues.

Staff working within EYFS regularly read with the children both within the classroom and the outdoor provision, so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books.  This is in addition to the books that they bring home.  This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing.  All classrooms have attractive book corners where the children can access a wide range of books, both fiction, non-fiction and poetry to help embed their love of books, stories and reading.

Implementation (Reading in KS1)

Children in KS1 have the opportunity to read daily.  Adults carry out a whole class guided reading session weekly.  Children also use Reading Eggs and Bug Club Phonics online libraries throughout the week and additionally at home. Both programmes are matched to each child’s reading ability and offers a range of comprehension questions to develop this aspect alongside pace and fluency.  Children read independently with adults during the week to ensure that their reading book is matched to their phonics and reading ability.  Additional specific and explicit reading lessons are taught which are linked to our writing curriculum – where each unit is designed around a text or collection of texts.

Guided reading continues to be taught in Year 1 during the week using ‘Super 6’. Children continue to respond verbally to reading questions (VIPERS) based around a range of 6 high-quality books per half term. When children enter Year 2, guided reading continues to follow comprehension questions based on ‘VIPERS’ and allows children to respond both orally and in written form. Texts are chosen each half term to support the teaching of reading and children’s love of books. VIPERS is an anagram to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum.  They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts. VIPERS stands for: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Retrieve, Sequence (KS1) and Summarise (KS2)

Implementation (Reading in KS2)

Reading is taught once per week during discreet guided reading sessions – lasting approximately 60 minutes and shown on weekly timetables. Children in Ks2 continue to follow the teaching of reading and comprehension using ‘VIPERS’. Texts are carefully chosen each half term or each term depending on the text chosen.

Reading lessons are based on a high quality text - this could be a differentiated text or other high quality text to supplement if appropriate to the skill. A range of narrative, poems, non-fiction is used.  Children have the opportunity to explore expression, tone, volume etc. and experiment with using their voice and body language to create atmosphere (following modelling from the teacher). Using information from both formative and summative assessment, the teacher will highlight a specific domain to focus on based on the needs of the class. 

Children will be encouraged to re-read the text and check that the text makes sense, discussing understanding and explaining the meaning of words in context.  Children will locate and predict meanings of unfamiliar words and find their definition using a dictionary. Across the week, teachers will model, scaffold or guide the children to breakdown the question and answer in the appropriate way. Children then answer questions independently, with opportunities to edit their answers as they actively engage in class discussions. 

In addition to this, children in Ks2 complete a minimum of three sessions on Reading Plus or Reading Eggs per week.  Adults support specific groups and/or individuals during these sessions who may require additional practice with reading pace or fluency. 

Implementation (Reading for pleasure and Home Reading)

EYFS have stories read daily and in KS1 and KS2, the minimum expectation is three times per week through ‘Book Club’.  The aim of this is to further expose children to a range of texts, promote the love of reading and to build the vocabulary that the children are exposed to. Staff and children use this time to recommend texts to each other and to discuss favourite authors and genres.

Our school and class libraries allow children to immerse themselves in the wonderful world of books.  They are stocked with an attractive range of fiction and non-fiction to support every ability and reading choice and encompass the latest reading trends and classic texts that should be part of every child’s primary school experience - building the children’s cultural capital.  To promote parental engagement in home reading provide parental workshops through the year are designed to facilitate engagement between parents, the school and their children’s reading. They begin with messages about the importance of reading for pleasure which is followed by informal parent/children reading time supported by teachers where necessary. ‘Reading Breakfasts’ proved extremely popular in all key stages with parents fully invested in supporting children’s love of reading and books. We have also recently hosted Parklee's 'Book Fair', which provided a variety of new books for our key stage libraries.

Across school, home reading book are colour banded, using Bug Club reading scheme to match a child’s reading level from Reception to Year 6.  In KS2, when children have completed the Bug Club Reading, we also have the Top '100 Parklee Reads' list chosen by our school community. 

Reading Eggs online program is used from Reception to Year 2 and for children in Ks2 with specific reading gaps.  A baseline assessment and then regular opportunities to answer comprehension questions, ensures that children are working at the appropriate level. From Y3, all children, where appropriate, will move on to the Reading Plus program. These children will take a baseline assessment and then read texts and complete comprehension activities as they move through levels.  The program identifies areas of strength and areas to further develop, which informs the adults working with the children so they can monitor how to support specific reading skills. 

In order to promote home reading further, all children are asked to read a minimum of 3 times each week at home. Each time a child reads at home they record this in their reading record. Weekly reading rewards and certificates are shared with parents via Class Dojo.

Impact (Early Reading and Phonics)

Children’s progress in phonics is continually reviewed through periodic phonic assessments and evidence from their reading and writing.  At all stages and when needed, phonics attainment is assessed via Phonics Tracker, and gaps are addressed quickly and effectively for all pupils with interventions planned for those children who are working below expected levels. In June, the national Phonics Screening Check is undertaken to confirm that children have learned to decode to an age-appropriate standard and will determine what level of provision they will require the following year.

Impact (Reading in KS1 and KS2)

A set of progression statements for each year group is used for assessing children’s reading. Reading judgements are secured through the triangulation of test data, evidence from the pupil and the curriculum. Our test data comes from NFER, SATs, Reading Eggs and Reading Plus.  Finally, evidence from the curriculum is gathered from their reading books, English books and reading lesson notes, reading records and annotated planning. 

Parklee Community Primary School

Wardour Street, Atherton, Manchester M46 0AR

Mrs Dawn Roper - Headteacher

Miss Rebecca Wood – Deputy Headteacher & SENDCO

01942 874203 |

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