Christ Church Pellon C of e VC Primary School

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English: Reading


Our curriculum intent for Reading is to ensure that by the end of their primary education, all pupils can read fluently and with confidence. We value reading as a key life skill and see a great importance in children developing a love of reading which in turn supports their breadth of vocabulary. It is essential that our approach to teaching phonics and reading is accessible to all learners, regardless of background.

At Christ Church (Pellon) we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.

As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Christ Church (Pellon) we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

At Christ Church (Pellon), we value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.

Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Phonics Leader who drives the early reading programme in our school. Mrs Gemma McLoughlin is highly skilled at teaching phonics and reading, and they monitor and support our reading team, so everyone teaches with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.

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EYFS and Year 1

We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.


Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term.

We follow the Little Wandle Programme programme overviews:

  • Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
  • Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.

Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.


We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These:

  • are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children
  • use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments and book matching grids on pages 11–20 of ‘Application of phonics to reading’
  • are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.


Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:

  • decoding
  • prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
  • comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.


In Reception these sessions start in Week 4. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.


Children in Reception and Year 1 who are receiving additional phonics Keep-up sessions read their reading practice book to an adult daily.


In Reception and Year 1, children have access to the reading corner every day in their provision and the books are continually refreshed.


Children from Reception onwards have a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school.


Lower Phase – Year 2 and Year 3

We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 or 3 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics screening check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Keep-up resources – at pace. 


For any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books in Years 2 and 3, we continue to teach reading through reading practice sessions three times a week as taught previously in EYFS and Year 1.


The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.

  • Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children.
  • We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resources to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online and through workshops.


Children at age related expectations for reading in Year 3 move onto the Accelerated Reading Scheme which is made of a wide range of texts matched to their interests. This scheme provides a ZPD or banding for each child who can then choose a book at their own level. Following completion of each book, the child completes an on-line test which enables the teacher to assess understanding before they move on to the next book in the phase.  A regular assessment is made of the children’s banding level. Children can also share these texts with a parent or carer regularly.

Children who require additional support for fluency continue to benefit from the ‘Star Reader’ scheme and read daily on a 1 to 1 basis to build up independence, vocabulary and core reading skills. Story time continues to be time-tabled daily so that childrens’ imaginations and language is developed and that they experience a range of genres and texts beyond what they can read themselves.

Every teacher in our school has been trained to teach reading, so we have the same expectations of progress. We all use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower children’s cognitive load.


Our Phonics Leader and SLT use the Audit and Prompt cards to regularly monitor and observe teaching; they use the summative data to identify children who need additional support and gaps in learning.

Upper Phase – Years 4 – 6

If any child in Year 3 to 6 has gaps in their phonic knowledge when reading or writing, we plan phonics ‘catch-up’ lessons to address specific reading/writing gaps. These short, sharp lessons last 10 minutes and take place at least three times a week.


As children’s reading becomes more fluent in KS2, and in addition to children using the Accelerated Reading Scheme, there is more of a focus on developing children’s comprehension skills. Skills based reading lessons are taught as a whole class approach via the VIPERS scheme. These have been specifically designed to teach children how to identify and answer comprehension questions based on each of the different reading domains. The texts that teachers use to support their VIPERS teaching are either: whole class tests designed to immerse children in rich vocabulary and challenging fiction, or shorter extracts carefully linked to other areas of the curriculum to allow opportunities for depth and breadth across a particular topic of interest.

However, vulnerable readers continue to benefit from smaller group sessions to build up independence, vocabulary and core reading skills.

Daily Reading Tracking is used in Years 4-6 to identify and support all of our readers. Our lowest 20% attainers are listened to by an adult every day to build up fluency, understanding and independence. Some children, according to their stamina and levels of motivation, will be listened to twice weekly with every other child in the class being listened to by an adult at least once throughout the duration of the school week. Our highest 20% attainers are encouraged to read a more challenging extract selected by an adult.

‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)

We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.

We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Christ Church (Pellon) and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.


Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books.


As the children progress through the school, they are encouraged to write their own comments and keep a list of the books/authors that they have read.


The school library is made available for classes to use and is ran by KS2 librarians during lunchtimes. Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events (Family Learning Events, author visits and workshops, national events etc).


Curriculum Overview

 Reception Text Overview 2022-2023.pdfDownload
 Year 1 Text Overview 2022 - 2023.pdfDownload
 Year 2 Text Overview 2022 - 2023.pdfDownload
 Year 3 Text Overview 2022 - 2023.pdfDownload
 Year 4 Text Overview 2022-2023.pdfDownload
 Year 5 Text Overview 2022-2023.pdfDownload
 Year 6 Text Overview 2022-2023.pdfDownload
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Curriculum Policies

To see all of our policies concerning the curriculum click the link below:

Curriculum Policies