Reading and Phonics

At St. Andrew’s, we aim to promote an enthusiasm for reading as soon as children enter the school.

EYFS and Key Stage One

A love of books is supported by a variety of teaching methods, beginning with a structured phonics programme (Letters and Sounds) in the early stages of learning to read. One-to-one reading in school is crucial to the support of the early development of skills and we value the supportive role of parents when reading at home.

Children in Year 1 take part in the Daily Supported Reading (DSR) programme. This is extended in Year 2 with guided reading sessions. Guided reading is an integral part of our learning, whereby children work in small groups with an adult and explore a text through lively discussion and exposure to thought-provoking and challenging questions. Read Write Inc books and Colour Banded books are used as home readers.

Key Stage Two

In Key Stage Two, teachers use higher order questioning techniques, modelled on Bloom’s Taxonomy to engage children in critical thinking about texts. For some very able children in Year 6, guided reading sessions take the form of literature circles, where the children lead their own discussions on the text they are reading.

Newspapers are delivered every fortnight in the upper school and are often used as guided reading texts. Reading for pleasure underpins our English curriculum, as we prepare the children for a lifetime love of books. All children are exposed to a carefully selected range of high quality texts and whole class reading takes place regularly throughout the key stages.

Reading buddies  Older children read with some younger children to boost their confidence with reading. Our class buddy system supports reading for pleasure across the school.


Our literacy lessons are based around high quality texts. Over a week or more children will be introduced to a book / text. They look for the key features and structure of the writing to understand the genre,  and then work towards producing their own piece of writing. This reading into writing model is followed throughout the school. Work is drafted, edited,    improved and refined, through guided group work and independent work. The rules of       grammar are taught as part of a unit of work, in line with the new curriculum for children in Years 1, 3, 4 and 5. Children in Years 2 and 6 continue to follow the skills and techniques required by the old curriculum. Some children receive extra support through morning      interventions to practise and improve basic writing skills such as sentence structure,      tenses and handwriting.

Children practise their speaking and listening skills in all areas of the curriculum. However, much emphasis is placed on drama and role play in our church services, class assemblies, literacy lessons and some  IPC units. Spellings are taught within the context of the lessons and homework for spellings is given out, based on the letter string or rule taught that week.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 14.50.12