Reading and Phonics

Reading at Bishops Tawton Primary School

It is our intent at Bishops Tawton Primary School to enable our pupils to develop a life-long love of reading.  We engage our pupils in a wide variety of reading activities and teach them the skills to become fluent independent readers. We foster an enjoyment of texts by regularly reading to the children and we encourage and support them to choose appropriate texts for themselves. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and this allows children to further their knowledge across all subject areas. 


Phonics and Early Reading

All children in the Early Years and Year 1 take part in daily phonics sessions following the Letters and Sounds Programme. During these sessions, there is a clear focus on learning blending skills to enable children to decode words independently. The Letters and Sounds phases 1-5 are taught from Pre-school to Year 2. The children at Pre-school are taught Phase 1. From Reception, the children work through phases 2 to 5 at a pace that enables them to meet age related expectations or above. Through regular assessment, children are targeted to have additional phonics sessions to support their learning.  All children are expected to have been taught phase 5 by the time they join Year Two, unless a child has a need that makes this unattainable.

​All children also take part in two adult led guided reading sessions a week - one with the teacher and a second with a teaching assistant to consolidate their reading skills. In these sessions, the children in reception and Y1 read texts linked to their Letters and Sounds phase.  The children develop their breadth in reading by sharing a range of phonetically decodable texts from different reading schemes.  Also during these sessions, the children’s comprehension skills are developed alongside their ability to decode words independently. If a child is not making enough progress they are given extra reading sessions, either in a small group or 1:1. 

The texts which the children read in their groups are sent home and the school has an expectation that they will be read again.  There are also a wide range of other texts in class that the children can take home to further develop their reading skills.


Reading in Y2 to Y6

Our rigorous and sequential approach to reading continues in Y2, where we monitor progress using running records to assess children’s reading levels using coloured book bands.  Again, texts are well matched to the needs of the child.  If a child is below age related expectations we continue to use decodable texts linked to their letters and sounds phase and provide extra reading sessions to increase rates of progress.   All children take part in planned daily reading activities which are either independent or adult led.

In Key Stage 2, teachers match texts to the reading abilities of the children and to the requirements of the Y3/4 and Y5/6 reading curriculums.  When required, some children continue on age appropriate reading scheme texts.  Reading is taught through guided reading sessions on a daily basis.  During this time, children either learn in adult led groups with a specific focus, or they carry out reading tasks independently.  These tasks may include a pre-reading activity to develop confidence and understanding of a text, or a follow up task to reinforce a skill.  Children also have time to enjoy their reading.  Giving children regular practice at inferring, clarifying, summarizing, information retrieval and predicting, allows them to become life-long readers and learners.