Reading Intent

At Great Wishford School, reading is central to teaching and learning. We believe that reading for pleasure and knowledge transforms children’s lives. The acquisition of rapid fluency together with confident, articulate writers is an aspiration we hold for all children at our school, regardless of their background, needs or abilities.

We give children the best start we can by teaching them to read as soon as possible, so that they can develop a love of reading that will provide them with the skills, knowledge and confidence for the future. We match fully decodable, progressive books to pupils developing phonic knowledge through regular assessment and clear expectations of pupils’ phonics progress term by term. Assessment of pupils’ phonics progress is detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind the program’s pace, and targeted support is put into place immediately. All staff have been trained in delivering Letters and Sounds, and teachers have a clear understanding of how pupils learn to read. Teachers give pupils sufficient practice in reading and re-reading books that match the grapheme-phoneme correspondences they know, both at school and at home. Reading stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction that develop pupils' vocabulary, language comprehension and love of reading has been timetabled into the curriculum from Reception to Year 6.

Reading for Pleasure

Our reading scheme is based on Collins Big Cat (for Letters and Sounds) texts, supplemented with a number of books from other schemes. Once children become fluent readers, a wider range of reading material is provided to enable high quality discussions about content, broaden vocabulary and develop confidence.

Across the school, children can access a range of high quality, engaging texts from a range of genres. We also have an active book Club, where all children can share, inspire and model a love of reading. All classes have access to the school and class libraries, and take books home to share on a regular basis. Our expectation is that all children will read at home daily, building their recorded ‘Nights Read’ towards reading rewards.

The following booklets give some help and guidance about supporting your child when reading at home. 


Phonics is a structured way of teaching children to read quickly and skillfully. Children are taught how to read letters or groups of letters (graphemes) by saying the sound(s) (phonemes) using their pure sounds (how to pronounce pure sounds: ).They can then begin to read words, captions and whole sentences by blending the sounds together.

At Great Wishford School we follow daily Letter’s and Sounds lessons, introducing each grapheme clearly; a focus is placed on blending to read and segmenting to spell. In Reception, cued articulation actions and rhyme are used until children are secure with their GPC (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence).

Screening test

At the end of Year 1, children are expected to complete the Key Stage 1 Phonics Screening Check. The purpose of the check is to confirm whether individual children have learnt decoding and blending skills to meet an age-appropriate standard. The screening contains 40 words, including a combination of real words and pseudo words. Children who do not meet the pass mark, retake the screening in Year 2.

Guided reading

In EYFS and KS1, teacher-led guided reading sessions take place on a weekly basis, during which carefully chosen, engaging texts, are read over two sessions. The first of these sessions focuses on the three key components of reading fluency:

· accuracy

· automaticity (rapid recall of whole known words)

· prosody (reading with expression)

The second session returns to the book to explore its vocabulary, as well as practicing comprehensions skills and strategies such as: inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and sequencing. Whilst a small group works with the teacher, the class participate in Whole Class Guided Reading, consolidating learning from their small group sessions. Texts are carefully chosen to link with writing or other curriculum areas.

Whole Class Guided Reading continues in KS2, where children read, share reading or listen to modelled reading for half an hour every day. Comprehension skills and strategies are discussed, modelled and scaffolded to further develop understanding of the text.