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Approach to Teaching Reading



Every day at Chiltern Primary School children throughout the Foundation stage and Key stage 1 have a focused phonics session. This is really important as phonics underpins and enables children to to learn to read and enables them to be a successful reader and access all other areas of the school curriculum.


Children first learn their letter sounds taking care to pronounce them correctly. Then they apply these to word building so they can read small words. The letter sounds are taught in the order that the speech sounds are acquired, therefore it supports the early stages of speech and language development. At Chiltern Primary School we use Read Write Inc as the basis for our phonic teaching. This is recognised as a synthetic phonics scheme.


Read Write Inc. is systematic approach to teach phonics. The children learn to read the phonemes and blend them together to read the words. The children learn to read small words and then build up to two and three syllable words with all 44 phonemes and their alternative choices. At the same time the children are taught to segment the words to spell them and choose the correct spelling choice.


Children are also taught to use and apply their phonics to read both real and nonsense words, children in Year 1 are required to be tested using their phonics to read a range of real and nonsense words. The children also learn to read a range of other words which aren’t phonetically decodable and they learn to read them by sight.


For more information please follow this link:

(A very good website with lots of ideas how to support your child with reading. It also has a selection of free online ebooks.)


Whilst children are building up their phonics skills they learn to apply these within their reading and writing.


During their phonics sessions they are able to apply their newly acquired reading and writing skills to write captions, read books and investigate spelling choices.


Children read every day individually, in small groups and as a whole class (guided reading or shared reading). The reading books chosen by the teachers are very carefully matched to a child’s ability providing a suitable challenge for them to comprehend the book and answer questions about what they are reading about. A variety of different genres, both fiction and non-fiction are chosen at the appropriate level of ability for each child. As well as being able to read the text and answer simple questions, children are encouraged to discuss the book, expressing their individual opinions of the content and answer inference questions and will be asked to compare the themes and speculate on the tone of different texts.


We use a range of literature from a variety of reading schemes such as Read Write Inc. Songbirds, Oxford Reading Tree etc. to excite and engage all readers. We also encourage children to select their own books and welcome suggestions regarding the texts they would like to read in future. Children are encouraged to read regularly at home by themselves and with their parents/carers. We challenge the children to complete a quiz about their book using Accelerated Reader. 


Reading is a valuable, lifelong skill that intersects all areas of the curriculum. We develop our pupils reading through independent and shared reading as well as crosscurricular sessions which empower them to find pleasure in reading.

Links to phonic websites

(A very good website with lots of ideas of how to support reading, with a range of free online ebooks.)

(Mr Thorne online, short video clips for children to watch about phonics and spelling.)


(Phonic games. Some are free, others need a subscription.)

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