Further information

The purpose of this page is to give detailed information about the teaching of early reading at Kilham CE Primary School, including teaching strategies used, details of resources, and the sequencing of teaching through which children learn to read. Please ask if you need any further detail.


Reading at Kilham C of E Primary School

As soon as a child starts their life at Kilham School,  we place a strong emphasis on the development of reading.  By placing great importance on reading we aim for the children to: -

  • Become fluent readers who build their accuracy and understanding through a variety of discreet and cross-curricular learning opportunities.
  • Have sound phonic awareness and use a phonics first approach to reading.
  • Develop a love of reading.
  • Have access to engaging texts, so that reading is an enjoyable and meaningful experience.
  • Use a range of reading strategies, that will allow them to tackle reading problems and the wider curriculum with confidence.


Reading in the Early Years Foundation Stage

Exposure to books

In Nursery and Reception, children start their reading journey by having the opportunity to listen to and join in with a range of familiar stories, using books and story sacks. They are encouraged to ask simple questions about the text and discuss what might happen next. Children in reception take part in Book Talk sessions so that by the Summer term they are prepared for a more formal learning approach when they transition into Year 1. All of this allows their listening and attention skills to develop whilst also broadening their enjoyment of books. In the EYFS setting, children are also encouraged to use and engage with stories through their play.



At Kilham School, we follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised scheme to deliver our phonics. This provides children in Nursery and Reception with the ability to develop their phonetic knowledge and to provide them with the skills for early reading. Starting in Nursery with phase 1 phonic activities which provides them with another opportunity to develop their listening and attention skills, as well as develop their awareness of sounds within their environment and sounds that they can hear on words. This prepares them to verbally segment and blend words by the end of Nursery. This learning continues within Reception where the children work through phonics phase 2-5. Children have daily phonic sessions, which are fun and quick-paced. These groups are differentiated but flexible, so that children can be challenged or supported where necessary.  Any children who are at risk of falling behind are worked with closely and offered catch up interventions and support.


When a child is ready to read, they will be provided with a sound book. They will then progress to a word book and then reading books. As a school we make sure that the phonetical progression of the decodable readers matches the phonics progression of the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised  Programme. All of our books introduce new grapheme phoneme correspondences (GPCs) in the same order as our teaching programme. We have a large variety of books which are phonetically decodable from the publishers Rising Stars and Pearson Bug Club. Nursery and reception children are encouraged to read at least three times a week at home, as well as being listened to by an adult at school at least once a week.

At the beginning of the school year, parents are invited to take part in a phonics meeting to help them understand how we teach reading and gain their support. We stress to parents that the home-school partnership does have a positive impact on how well children begin to read. 


At school, we use our own assessment system to assess the development of reading. We also use observational evidence in EYFS that links to ‘development matters’ a government benchmarking tool. 


Reading in Key Stage 1


In Year 1 we continue to build on the work that has taken place in early years. We aim to ensure that by the end of the year children are able to decode text using Grapheme phoneme correspondence from phases 2, 3 and 5 of letters and sounds. Some of the phases are repeated again from EYFS, to ensure children have a secure and embedded knowledge of all their sounds. The approach towards teaching phonics on a daily basis continues in KS1.



In Year 1, children continue to be heard read by an adult on an individual basis at least once a week and are encouraged to read at least three times a week at home. Staff may continue to ask children to re-read a book if we feel that this will help them develop their fluency, expression and understanding of the book.

In Year 2, children will continue to work on their development of phonics through phase 6. We also aim for the children to have accurate and speedy word reading skills, matching sounds to letters without any hesitation.

Children read and enjoy books at differing levels and paces.  As a school, we do not make children read all of books in all levels if they are reading confidently, with understanding and are decoding well. We will also not rush children through books if they have not understood and comprehended what they are reading.

Children also take part in regular Book Talk sessions each week, where they read a whole-class text. Here the children read in small groups with the class teacher and teaching assistant. The teaching of reading is furthered and developed through this activity.  Children are able to access and read more challenging texts as they are supported by an adult to help read them. They also take part in lessons where they are taught how to answer questions about the text that they are reading. Children write book reviews, in which they develop their own opinions about a book and say whether they would recommend it to a friend.

Children also continue to be exposed to a variety of fiction and non-fiction books, through their English lessons and topic lessons as well as story time every day.




At the end of Year 1, children take part in the government’s phonic screening check.  This is done with the class teacher and the outcomes are shared with parents in their child’s annual report.  Any children who do not reach the required level receive extra intervention and support. If children fail the check in Year 1 they will do the phonics screening check again in Year 2.

At the end of Year 2, children have a formal reading assessment known as SATs.  This is delivered in a structured and supported way without extra pressure being applied to the children taking it. The outcomes of this assessment are shared with parents in the annual report in July.


We also assess children’s reading by using our own school phonics and reading assessment systems. To assess phonics we use phonics checking sheets which are  set up in phases with sounds and words. For all other reading we use progressional assessment sheets, that include Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to judge whether children are reading at the expected standard for their age.


Reading in Key Stage 2


As children move into Key Stage 2, we want enable them to become fluent readers; reading quickly, accurately and with appropriate expression. We aim to develop their skills in reading comprehension by continuing to teach them through guided Book Talk/ Reciprocal Reading sessions. During these session they will learn about, prediction, questioning, clarifying words or phrases, summarising, inference and to draw on prior knowledge and experiences. These sessions take place throughout the week and are delivered through a whole class text.  The books we use for these sessions are often linked to topic areas of the curriculum. Children are also given the opportunity to answer questions in written form and to write book reviews.

Reading to children and discussing books is still important for this age group and teachers continue to read to the class, for at least ten minutes a day.  We expose children to a wide range of texts, with an appropriate level of challenge. 

Children are encouraged to continue to read at home at least three times a week. The school also provides the incentive for children to read at home by using the whole school ‘Reading Rockets’ challenge. The school’s reading scheme has undergone some recent changes and now provides a range of new and exciting texts from different genres written by well-known authors. If teachers believe that children are independent enough in their book selection in KS2, they can choose their own books from the reading scheme. We have now organised our library into genres to encourage those children that are confident readers to develop their preferences. Children who are not ready to advance to the next band will be encouraged to read more broadly at their appropriate level. We will support and encourage children through these bands, but we will not rush or push children through them when their decoding and/or their comprehension skills are not sufficiently developed.




In KS2 we continue to assess children’s reading by using our own reading assessment system, so that we can continue to support or challenge our readers as necessary. Children also take part in reading comprehension tasks, which are similar to the tests that children do in Year 2 and Year 6, in order to monitor whether children are reading at their expected level for their age.

Where required, children are given extra support with their reading if we feel they are falling behind through a variety of activities. Some children in Year 3 and beyond may continue to require additional phonics support, if they have not meet the requirements of the phonics screening test. Teachers and teaching assistants work closely together to ensure these gaps in the child’s phonic knowledge are reduced.

Throughout key stage 2 the reading attainment and progress of pupils is carefully monitored so that we can continually support or challenge all of our children.  At the end of year 6 children take part in a formal reading assessment known as SATs.  The outcomes of these are shared with parents in the annual end of year report.


Love of Reading

Our aim is for children at Kilham School to love reading and to enjoy all that books have to offer. We endeavour to expose children to a wide variety of books throughout their time with us and to develop their own preferences in texts. We also take part in a range of reading events through the school year, such as: National Poetry Day, World Book Day and Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) week. In most classrooms we have a designated area that is inviting for children to pick up a book and read and in the summer we set up a reading tipi. Kilham School’s approach to reading and our strategies towards engendering a love of reading in our children is something we will continue to develop.

 Should you require any further information about reading at Kilham school, please speak with your child’s class teacher.