Message sent from:

Sandlings' Approach to Reading and Phonics



Early Reading Development

In our Early Years Foundation Stage we teach Bookcraft:  reading stories to children, modelling and engaging children in the joy of listening to and retelling stories,  developed in small world reading and role play areas. To begin their reading journey children will take home picture books to create and retell stories using picture clues.  As phonics knowledge develops, reading books are then closely linked to their learning to allow children to practise new skills, build on previously learnt phonemes and develop reading confidence.

Reading books

Every child in school takes home reading books that have been carefully matched to their level of skill.

In EYFS and Key stage 1, children take home a phonics book to allow for practice of newly learnt phonemes and spelling patterns, a book from the coloured book band system which is also linked to letters and sound phases as well as a library book. These are changed at least weekly or when children have secured enough fluency.

In Key stage 2, children take home books from the coloured book band system as well as a library book.

Across the school, a reading record forms a link between home and school and parents are encouraged to read with their child at least three times a week. Parents are given advice leaflets to support them read with their child at home and each class has a reward system to motivate the children to read at home as much as possible.

Daily whole class reading lessons

A range of high quality texts, often linked to the terms project theme, are used to develop the reading skills taught through whole class reading sessions; developing children’s decoding and comprehension skills.  Each class uses "Reading Dog Detectives" to help children recognise individual skills needed to interpret questions about and understand texts,



Marking, assessment and monitoring.

Through whole class and individual reading sessions, teachers regularly monitor and record pupil attainment and progress throughout the term against our on line assessment trackers and National Curriculum objectives. Every half term, whole class reading is paused and  a week is  dedicated to ensuring each child is assessed individually to ensure accuracy in our understanding of their progress and attainment. Alongside teacher assessment, a termly PIRA reading assessment task and termly exception word spelling tests are used to support judgements. Additionally, in KS1 children have regular phonic assessments. All assessments are analysed by either class teachers, subject leads or SLT and any gaps in knowledge and skills are fed back into medium-term planning to ensure progress. The SLT use pentangulation as part of the monitoring process involving lesson observations, learning walks, book monitoring, data analysis and pupil activities.

Our Intent:

Our aim is for all of our  pupils to be successful readers who have a love of reading that they will carry with them throughout their lives by developing:

  • Excellent phonic knowledge and skills.
  • Fluency and accuracy across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.
  • Knowledge of an extensive and rich vocabulary.
  • Excellent comprehension of texts.
  • The motivation to read for both study and for pleasure.
  • Extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts.
  • Talk with passion and knowledge about the books they read and have heard


Developing phonetic knowledge and skills is a priority throughout Early years and key stage 1. Alongside continuous provision opportunities and using learnt knowledge and skills in teaching across all curriculum areas, there are daily phonics lessons in Early years and key stage 1. These lessons are linked to our core scheme - Letters and Sounds and this is supplemented with resources from Jolly phonics as well as online games from Phonics play. Sessions are engaging with games and activities, providing opportunities to practice and apply the skills they have been taught. Children are carefully matched to their current level of understanding based on regular assessments of knowledge and skills.

To engage parents in supporting children’s phonic acquisition, they are invited to VIP sessions to watch a phonics lesson and learn phonic games to use at home. They are also informed of the week’s phonics focus through fortnightly newsletters.  In the Early Years, children are given a key ring of phonemes and actions as well as a phonic workbook to practice phonemes at home as well as tricky words. These are added to weekly.

Year 1 and 2 pupils continue to learn phonics and where appropriate, are given bespoke action plans for use in school and at home to support their individual needs.

Click here for link to phonic sounds

Reading for pleasure

Alongside whole class reading sessions, each class has regular time planned to enjoy a class novel. Teachers skilfully model reading aloud and the thought processes of developing comprehension as you read. Children are involved in deciding which novel to enjoy together from a suggested book list. We also have a well-stocked fiction and non-fiction lending library and reading areas in each classroom. Parents are invited in for shared reading sessions throughout the year and there is a calendar of reading competitions and events planned to celebrate books and reading including World Book Day, an annual book fair and visits to Woodbridge Library.


Hit enter to search