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Reading at Chipping Hill


Everyone is a reader at Chipping Hill and children will come to understand that reading can open up limitless learning.

Chipping Hill Primary School aims to provide a clear, consistent, whole school approach to reading with whole class reading being at its heart. Competence in reading is the key to independent learning and is given the highest priority at Chipping Hill Primary School. We believe that every single child can become a competent and fluent reader, enabling all our children to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers. Success in reading has a direct effect upon progress in all other areas of the Curriculum and is crucial in developing children’s self-confidence and motivation.


Through guided reading, whole class reading, writing lessons and also foundation subjects Chipping Hill Primary School aims to:

  • Provide the children with the skills and strategies necessary to develop into competent and fluent readers.

  • Encourage the enjoyment of books and reading so that the children develop a life-long love of books

  • Develop a critical appreciation of what they read

  • Develop study skills so that the children can find appropriate fiction and non-fiction books from the library.

  • Develop research skills, using library and class texts, in conjunction with the ICT system

  • Develop a critical appreciation of the work of authors, poets and illustrators in order to emulate these skills in their own writing.

  • Encourage care and ownership of books.


Facilitating a Love of Reading at Chipping Hill Primary School

  • Daily story time across the school where a story is shared and a joy for reading is modelled.

  • Confident readers can  read to the class a chosen book or book excerpt at story time

  • Guided Reading time utilised in KS2. A class text is shared one between two and children share the book as a class. A clear joy of reading is modelled and skills are taught each week.

  • Sustained silent reading. Each week sustained silent reading will be utilised across the school. Children will read a book of their choice. This enables children to improve their reading stamina and promotes a love of reading.

  • EYFS have a reading area outside with designated seating. Reading books are available to all pupils outside at lunchtime.

  • Author focus and related texts for each year group are available

  • Keep on Reading sessions in Year 3 and Year 4 led by Les Kemp

  • Valuing written work and giving children the opportunity to read their written work to class members, pupils in another year group or as part of a whole school project e.g. Poetry competition.

  • Library Club for KS2 and children in EYFS and KS1 can borrow books from the KS1 library.


Supporting the Transition of Reading through Phases

EYFS to Year 1

In the last term of EYFS and throughout Year 1 reading is taught through whole class reading sessions. A book is chosen for these sessions that matches the children’s phonics knowledge. Children are taught new vocabulary from the book, echo reading and choral reading (from Spring term in Year 1) and comprehension questions linked to different skills.


Year 2 to Year 3

In Year 2 a text is studied over 2 weeks. Children are taught new vocabulary from the book, they have a fluency lesson and two days on comprehension questions. The first day is modelled and children work in pairs. The second day the children work with more independence to answer the questions. At the start of Year 3, each week a reading skill is focussed on. The teacher models each of the reading skills and how to answer questions using these skills. This will then support the development towards more analysis of texts and deeper focus work on reading skills. Teachers will focus on reading fluency and promoting an enjoyment of reading through whole class reading with a specific author focus.


Reading in Years 4, 5 and 6


In Years 4, 5 and 6 children look at a reading skill each week. The skill is modelled and then the children use this skill with more independence when answering comprehension questions. Children are also introduced to unseen texts and answer comprehension questions with growing independence in preparation for KS2 SATs.


Phonics at Chipping Hill

What is Phonics?

Phonics teaches children to be able to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children to learn to read words and to spell words. Phonics sessions are the repetitive and consistent approach to learning, made up from games, songs and actions. Sessions last for 20-25 minutes per day.

Why is phonics important?

Teaching and learning of phonics is crucial to enabling children to read and spell.

Having a strong knowledge of phonemes and correlating graphemes provides children with a core foundation upon which they can develop their skills in reading and spelling as they move up through the school. A child who is able to read can access much more of the curriculum compared to those who cannot read. Reading is therefore one of the most important skills a child can learn.

At Chipping Hill we have designed a Phonics Reading Strategy to track the progress and needs of all children from a Phonological awareness assessment prior to starting up to and including Year 2 which is beyond the Phonics Screening check held in Year 1. We adhere to the Essential Letters and Sounds strategy and supplement with books from Oxford University Press which match the Phonics graphemes at which each individual child is working. 

We want the teaching of phonics to be enjoyable and engaging. To enable us to fulfil this, we utilise teaching phonics using various strategies including song, rhymes and actions. 

In phonics lessons children are taught three main things:


This stands for grapheme phoneme correspondences. This simply means that they are taught all the phonemes in the English language and ways of writing them down. These sounds are taught in a particular order. The first sounds to be taught are s, a, t, p.


Children are taught to be able to blend. This is when children say the sounds that make up a word and are able to merge the sounds together until they can hear what the word is. This skill is vital in learning to read.



Children are also taught to segment. This is the opposite of blending. Children are able to say a word and then break it up into the phonemes that make it up. This skill is vital in being able to spell words.

The Role of the Class Teacher and Support staff in teaching phonics

  • All teaching staff are responsible for developing and implementing our whole school approach to Phonics

  • All classroom staff will model good reading of phonetic sounds and encourage the children to copy with accuracy

  • All classroom staff will promote reading using phonics with attractive and appropriate books that reflect the topics being taught

  • All teaching staff will ensure that their classrooms are phonic rich and that they reflect various sounds being taught at the time, as well as reinforcing previous sounds taught

  • All teaching staff will ensure provision of additional support is made for any child with Special Educational Needs

  • All teaching staff will ensure the children have daily access to high quality phonics teaching

  • All teaching staff will track the progress for each child, keep up to date with record keeping and assessment

  • All classroom staff will model how good reading behaviour looks and sounds

  • All staff within year group will be responsible for the delivery of phonics

Phonics phases

There are five phonics phases. These are:

Phase 1

Early phonics teaching at the start of Reception focuses on developing children’s listening skills.

In Phase 1 phonics, children are taught about:

  • Environmental sounds

  • Instrumental sounds

  • Body percussion (e.g. clapping and stamping)

  • Rhythm and rhyme

  • Alliteration

  • Voice sounds

  • Oral blending and segmenting

Phase 2

In Phase 2, children begin to learn the sounds that letters make phonemes. Some are made with two letters, but in Phase 2, children focus on learning the most common single letter sounds. These should be broken down into smaller sets of approximately four sounds to make them more achievable for children to learn.

The order in which sounds are taught must follow the ELS scheme, learning the most commonly used phonemes first, starting with: /s/, /a/, /t/, /p/, /i/, /n/.

By the end of Phase 2 children should be able to read some vowel-consonant (VC) and consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words, and to spell them out. They also learn some harder to read and spell words like ‘the’ and ‘go.’ This phase usually lasts about six weeks.


Phase 3

Phase 3 introduces children to the remaining, more difficult and/or less commonly used phonemes. These are mainly made up of two letters such as /ch/, /ar/, /oa/ and /ee/.


Alongside this, children must be taught to recognise new harder to read and spell words, including ‘me,’ ‘her,’ ‘my,’ ‘you’ and ‘they’. They learn the names of the letters, as well as the sounds they make. Activities might include learning mnemonics (memory aids), practising writing letters, practising writing harder to read and spell words and singing songs like the Alphabet Song.


By the end of Phase 3, they should be able to say the sound made by most, or all, Phase 2 and 3 graphemes, blend and read CVC words made from these graphemes, read new harder to read and spell words and write letters correctly when given an example to copy.


Phase 4

Children should now be confident with each phoneme. In Phase 4 phonics, children will, among other things:

  • Practise reading and spelling CVCC words (‘such,’ ‘belt,’ ‘milk’ etc)

  • Practise reading and spelling harder to read and spell words

  • Practise reading and writing sentences


Children should now be blending confidently to work out new words. They should be starting to be able to read words straight off, rather than having to sound them out. They should also be able to write every letter, mostly correctly.


Phase 5

Phase 5 begins by introducing alternative spellings for sounds, like 'igh'. Children should master these in reading first, and as their fluency develops use them correctly in their spelling. Children learn new graphemes (different ways of spelling each sound).

They should become quicker at blending, and start to do it silently. They also learn about split digraphs such as the a-e in ‘name’.

They should begin to choose the right graphemes when spelling, and will learn new harder to read and spell words, including ‘because,’ ‘sugar’ and ‘friend’.

By the end of Year 1, children should be able to:

  • Say the sound for any grapheme they are shown

  • Write the common graphemes for any given sound (e.g. ‘e,’ ‘ee,’ ‘ie,’ ‘ea’)

  • Use their phonics knowledge to read and spell unfamiliar words of up to three syllables

  • Read all of the harder to read and spell words and be able to spell most of them

  • Form letters correctly


Year 2

The aim of Year 2 is for children to become fluent readers and accurate spellers.


In Year 2, children should be able to read hundreds of words using one of three strategies:

  • Reading them automatically

  • Decoding them quickly and silently

  • Decoding them aloud


Children should now be spelling most words accurately (this is known as 'encoding'), although this usually lags behind reading. They will also learn, among other things:

  • Prefixes and suffixes, e.g. ‘in-’ and ‘-ed’

  • The past tense

  • Spelling strategies such as look, cover, write, check and pyramid

  • Proof-reading

  • Where to put the apostrophe in words like I’m

  • Spelling rules

Although formal phonics teaching should be completed by the end of Year 1, children continue to use their knowledge as they move through the school

Our ultimate aim is for the children to become confident and independent readers with high levels of enjoyment, understanding and comprehension. To promote enjoyment of reading and the understanding that reading is a life-long skill.

Regular Reading Impacts

Reading Lists

Below are suggested reading lists for children based on year group. These lists are not exhaustive and are based on several sources. Reading should be promoted for various reasons including just for the love of reading, as such children should not be contained to their reading age. More able readers should challenge their learning and read up as much as reading down an age group for pleasure should also be endorsed.

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