Teaching of Reading

“The greatest gift is a passion for reading.”
Elizabeth Hardwick


Learning to read is one of the most important skills that your child will develop during their early development and primary years at school.

At Oakfield Infant and Junior Schools Federation we encourage your child to develop a love for reading. We encourage all children to read a variety of literature both at home and school to engage them in their learning and to widen their experiences.

When are children taught to read, practise their skills and develop reading for pleasure?

  • Daily phonics – lessons in the Infant School- we follow the ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ Programme because it is a systematic, synthetic approach, which is recommended as the most effective way for children to learn to read. Phonics learning is revisited throughout the day and connected to all curriculum areas, with the aim for all children to make rapid progress, so they become fluent readers as quickly as possible. During lessons, children are identified to participate in daily ‘keep up’ sessions for extra practise.
  • Reading Practice Sessions – children read in small groups, 3 times a week. They read the same book in each session with a specific focus on the skills of decoding, prosody and comprehension. The book is decodable and matched to their secure phonic knowledge. The same book is read at home throughout the week.
  • Guided Reading – children are taught as a class. The lessons are planned to explicitly teach the comprehension requirements of the National Curriculum through studying fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Aspects of comprehension studied include sequencing, retrieval, vocabulary, explanation, prediction and inference which the children recall. Lessons involve the children working collaboratively to actively investigate text and record their learning in whole class Reading Journals.
  • Story Time – children are read aloud to on a daily basis in every year group. This is for the children’s enjoyment with the main aim of motivating them to read for pleasure. Additionally, it develops their knowledge and confidence to discuss a wide range of authors, illustrators, text types and genres. The children engage with the story as they are encouraged to participate. In Reception, the children enjoy performing actions and joining in with repeated phrases as they listen to their favourite (and new) stories again and again.
  • Home learning – parents are expected to hear their child read daily even when they are fluent readers. They are encouraged to record all reading experiences in the Reading Record.
  • English lessons – planning is linked, inspired and supported by high quality, engaging and relevant texts. Stories form the basis for weekly continuous provision in Reception and an English teaching sequence in Key Stage 1 and 2; leading to daily discussion about the text.
  • A range of regular events to engage pupils with the joy and wonder of a wide range of text types, so they are confident, enthused and motivated to read for pleasure. Events include Book Buddies, Mystery Readers, Book Week and reading challenges.
  • A supportive learning environment with inviting book corners in every classroom, so children have access to engaging books. We are developing our main library of topic books, so they can be available to support the children’s interests and topic learning.

What books do children read, listen to and study?

  • Phonics Readers – these are fully decodable books from a range of reading schemes to introduce a wide variety of literature. They are organised in groups (book boxes) that match the teaching sequence of the ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ programme. They are matched to a child’s secure phonic knowledge, with the aim they can be read with 90% accuracy. This ensures children are reading with good fluency, comprehension and decode the words by sounding out and blending, and not by using any other strategy (e.g. the pictures). A child will keep their ‘Phonics Reader’ for a week with the intention of reading it daily to develop fluency and pace as recommended in the National Curriculum.
  • Family Readers – are aimed at developing and inspiring a love of reading through the shared experience of reading together. These books contain sounds and tricky words that do not match those the children are currently learning, so they are not expected to be able to decode them. The ‘Family Reader’ can be changed daily. Children can also read books from home or the library as a family reader.
  • The Oakfield Reading Spine – we have developed a reading spine which consists of books, both classic and modern from a range of authors, that we believe the children should be exposed to during their time at Oakfield. We have started by linking texts to our topics in a text overview. The children will listen to and discuss these books during Story Time, English and Guided Reading lessons.

How do children progress through the reading system?

To move to the next book box, children must be able to blend words and recognise high-frequency words in the book box and within their phonic phase. The child should be reading with good fluency and decode with 90-95% accuracy. They should be able to retell the main points they have read and answer simple literal retrieval questions. This is based on teacher judgement and supported by ongoing assessment.


How do we assess reading?

We build a picture of a child’s reading behaviours, including their views on reading, by gathering evidence from:

  • Phonics, reading practice sessions and guided reading lessons
  • 1:1 reading
  • Reading Comprehension Assessment papers
  • Reading events
  • YR-children are assessed against the reading statements in the Birth to Five Matters document.

KS1 and KS2-children are assessed using the National Curriculum objectives.


Reading Spine - These are some of the books that the class teacher will share with your children across the school year.