Reading & Phonics

English: Reading and Writing

Our Aims

Reading: For all children to foster a love of reading which empowers all children to decode fluently, to comprehend confidently, and to engage in independent thought and study in all subject areas. We learn to read and then we read to learn.

At Paxton, reading is at the heart of everything that we do - We must learn to read so that we may read to learn! 

Learning to Read - Early reading though systematic synthetic phonics

Our ultimate aim in the teaching of early reading is for children to leave Year 2 fluent, confident and independent readers being able to apply their knowledge and skills across the curriculum. We place a great deal of importance and emphasis on the teaching of early reading through the Letters & Sounds systematic synthetic phonics programme. This is reflected in the amount of time dedicated to the teaching of knowledge and skills; we teach phonics daily in Early Years and Year 1. In addition, as part of our catch-up curriculum, Year 2 are also taking part in daily phonics sessions. With these key skills, children are in an excellent position to access the wider curriculum.

While learning to read, the love and enjoyment for reading is reinforced through the rich, broad diet of texts, chosen to excite and challenge through our school values in our daily Class Storytime. All Children are given an independent reading book from their first week of school (second week in EYFS). While children are still learning their sounds, their books will only contain sounds that they have already learnt. As children progress on to Phase 6 of Letters & Sounds (roughly in Year 2), they are given books that become increasingly complex in length and content.

On top of all of this, children also bring home a wider-reading book which can be enjoyed with someone at home. This book may be too hard to access independently, or too simple to develop reading skills - but that's okay! Reading is as much about enjoyment as it is learning. 

Click here to read more about out Letters & Sounds Phonics programme.

‘Reading to Learn’ – Building comprehension for independent reading and study

As children move towards Key Stage 2, they engage in daily Whole-Class Reading sessions. These cover all of the skills prescribed by the National Curriculum which enable our children to be confident in reading independently. A shared whole-class text guides children through a mastery approach to reading comprehension. We use the incredible Literacy Leaves as the basis of our Whole-Class Reading diet, which includes a range of texts which are suited to and selected for our diverse and inclusive community.

Children continue to read an independent reading book from the world-famous Big Cat Scheme; these books challenge children at the right pace at their own ability. Children also continue to engage with a wider-reading book from the class or school libraries. Every class in Key Stage 2 also maintains a protected Storytime session, which draws on texts that support children's learning in writing, or that promote our school values.

Reading at Home

Our children are encouraged to read every day at home and family members are requested to write a short comment in the Reading Journals which the children bring home.