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North Crescent Primary School

‘Guiding explorers of the future’

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Phonics and Reading



Reading transports curious minds to wondrous realms of the imagination. It determines success not only in the classroom, but in life.


At North Crescent Primary School, the teaching of reading forms part of our English Curriculum. We aim to promote high standards of reading through clear progressive planning and effective teaching. Reading is an essential life skill that provides access to the experiences of people from different cultures and times. We believe children should be given every opportunity to acquire good reading skills in order to access the information that will support their development in all curriculum areas, now and in the future.


Reading Intent


At North Crescent Primary School, we want to foster a lifelong love of reading by exposing our children to various literature across all curriculum areas. We believe reading opens up a new world for children and gives them the opportunity to explore new ideas, visit new places, meet new characters and develop a better understanding of other cultures, through building up the children’s vocabulary it gives them the word power they need to become successful speakers and writers as well as confident readers.


Reading is a key life skill and we strive to embed a culture of reading into the core of what we do. Providing opportunities for children to read both independently and aloud as well as allowing them the chance to discuss and recommend books they have read to their peers. Reading and quality literature is implicitly interwoven into our curriculum through the use of key texts to expose our children to various genres and famous authors and to enhance the variety of exciting topics that we teach.

Reading Implementation


Reading is a vital skill that will support children’s learning across the whole curriculum. As a school, we will ensure that our children are taught to read with fluency, accuracy and understanding through a variety of discreet and cross-curricular learning opportunities. Above all, we want children in our school to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers. Essentially, we want children to enjoy reading.


Reading is taught regularly, right through school. Children begin their reading journey with a focus on Phase 1 phonics. This concentrates on developing speaking and listening skills and has an emphasis on enabling children to become attuned to the sounds around them whilst developing the skills of oral blending and segmenting. This is a time where pupils are given an opportunity to familiarise themselves with books. Pupils learn how to hold a book the right way, how to turn pages, how to explore pictures, and are exposed to hearing stories - all vitally important skills to begin the reading journey which then progress into KS2.


Within Reception, reading is taught through both literacy-focussed activities based on books and through specific teaching of the Monster Phonics programme.

Monster Phonics 

EYFS and KS1


Phonics is a method of teaching reading and writing where children are systematically taught the relationships between the sounds in our language and the letters used to represent those sounds. Once children have been taught which sounds are linked to which letters they are able to ‘crack the code’ and can confidently have a go at reading and writing anything.


In EYFS and KS1, Monster Phonics’ sessions are taught daily, for 20 – 30 minutes, with expectations that as children progress through school emphasis will be duly given to the National Curriculum spelling and grammar objectives.


Teachers and support staff are able to plan for bespoke lesson structures depending on the needs of their children at that stage: this can be applied to a whole class, small groups or an individual child’s needs.


Each daily session is structured using the Revisit/Review – Teach – Practise – Apply approach; this arrangement allows our children to have fun, be active and remain engaged through our systematic, quick paced lessons.


Children are given every opportunity to segment and blend at least 10 words in their daily lessons. This allows for occasions where the children hear themselves saying new sounds thereby developing their oral competency as they progress through the Monster Phonics programme.


At North Crescent Primary, our staff aim to teach one new thing each day e.g. either through new phoneme, segmenting, blending, reading, writing. As children progress up to year 2, they are encouraged to write more quickly, yet accurately following the principles of the Penpals handwriting scheme.



In Reception and Key Stage One, all children will be informally assessed throughout sessions and future phonics work planned accordingly.


All children will be formally assessed at the end of each term in the following areas:


• grapheme phoneme correspondence knowledge;

• segmenting and blending; • reading of tricky words;

• reading of non-words.


At the end of Year One it is statutory for all children to complete the Year One Phonics Screening Check. This usually takes place in June. Children who do not achieve the required standard in Year 2 will need to retake the check the following year to ensure they have made good progress.



Accelerated Reader (AR)



Accelerated Reader is a computer based program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice to help develop both confidence and a love of books in our pupils.


Each child picks a book at his/her own level and reads it at his/her own pace. When finished, they take a short quiz on the computer - the quiz is an indication that of how well the child has understood what has been read.


AR gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results which the teacher then uses to help the child set targets and ongoing reading practice.


Accelerated reading is designed not only to help children make good levels of guided progress in their reading and to ensure that the children have a good comprehension of what they read but also to help foster a sense of choosing books for pleasure.


Attached below is a parent guide for Accelerated Reader. We hope you find this useful:

What can you do to support your child?


  • Take an interest in what your child is reading and encourage him or her to read, both fiction and non-fiction books. Make sure that you have lots of books and magazines around the house, visit the local library and show your child how to access eBooks. Talk about books you have read, authors you have enjoyed and NEVER stop reading to your child, regardless of their age! Listening to others reading aloud encourages children to read with fluency and expression themselves.


  • Children should be encouraged to read independently for approximately 10-30 minutes every day. Discuss what your child has read, ask him or her to reflect on the material, character, plot, events etc. Use a dictionary to find the meaning of any new or difficult words and at the end of Key stage 2 children will be expected to be able to write a summary of what has been read.


  • Remember that reading is an on-going and integral part of your child’s development.


  • It is not a race; children are not expected to complete a test every day of the week. We want your child to enjoy reading books.


Whole-Class Reading


Whole class reading sessions, like Monster Phonics in EYFS/KS1, are more structured in KS2; whole class sessions allow all children (regardless of their personal word recognition and phonics skills) to access, experience and discuss high-quality texts therefore preventing them for being held back by the mechanical skills of reading.


These sessions follow these guidelines:


  • Where possible, the texts taught and explored should be linked to either the literacy text-type being taught in Literacy lessons or the overall topic content. If possible, the text will link to both but the quality of the text the children are exposed to is more important than making tenuous links or using an inappropriate text.


  • ·The objectives will be taken from the National Curriculum and EYFS curriculum with an emphasis on the reading domains. Teachers will use ongoing assessment to aid their planning.


  • In EYFS and KS1, links will be made between phonics/spellings and reading to strengthen the children’s understanding. In KS2, this will happen when necessary for those children who still need these links to be made explicit.


  • The reading planning will cover a weekly cycle where the children will be able to get to know and properly explore a text chapter(s). They may also look at links between different texts. They will be taught a mixture of skills and comprehension strategies that reflect what they need.


  • All reading comprehension work completed is assessed through daily verbal feedback and marking (where applicable) in line with the school’s marking policy.

Whole School Reading for Pleasure


Reading for pleasure is an important part of the reading curriculum here at North Crescent Primary School where the children are given the time to read and most importantly discuss the books they like. The teachers and other staff members also model this process and encourage the children to reflect on their own reading and share their opinions as much as possible.