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Early Reading

At Ettington Church of England Primary School, we aspire to live out God’s plan for all to flourish. We believe in providing our children with varied opportunities to use and develop the gifts and talents they have been blessed with, to ensure they embrace “Life in its fullness”. We provide all children with the skills to become life-long learners, independent readers and confident writers. Children will acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to become lifelong users of rich vocabulary in their speaking, reading and writing. We ensure that all our children receive a well-rounded learning experience with all aspects of the English curriculum, which will equip them with the fundamental tools to achieve in the next stage of their education and in to adult life. We immerse pupils in the wonders of quality texts to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery, and to develop and enrich vocabulary. We use carefully designed teaching activities that utilise imaginative stories and thought provoking texts.

At Ettington Church of England Primary School, we give every child the opportunity to become a reader, a writer and confident speaker by the time they leave Year 6. We promote and instil a love for reading, writing and high-quality literature into pupils of all ages. Our learners are challenged and encouraged to take risks and view mistakes as vital part of the learning process.

 We aim to provide children with a literacy-rich environment, high quality texts and inspiring learning opportunities, which will help them to:

  • Gain a life-long enjoyment of reading and books.
  • Read accurately, fluently and with understanding;
  • Apply a knowledge of structured synthetic phonics in order to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy and speed;
  • Be able to read with expression, clarity and confidence;
  • Develop a good linguistic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar;
  • Read and respond to a wide range of different types of texts;
  • Develop a deeper level of emotional intelligence and empathy;
  • Read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.


Through the delivery of our reading curriculum we ensure a consistent and robust teaching and learning of early reading and phonics in FS and KS1, so that pupils are able to read with increased speed and fluency and access the wider curriculum. We use the Government approved Monster Phonics scheme to support early reading. This is continued in KS2 where necessary. Phonics is delivered through daily taught sessions, interactive games, clear provision in the environment, decoding skill and picture clues.

All pupils have opportunities to develop their reading skills daily, and are encouraged to read at home with an adult. We provide a text rich environment, in order to encourage a positive culture of reading throughout all classes and promote reading for pleasure.  At Ettington, we recognise the importance of children having reading modelled to them by adults as well as their own opportunities to read for pleasure. All classes have a class novel and every day the children are read to by their teacher.

Through high quality teaching and learning experiences, we will develop children’s skills and competence so that they are fluent readers who can read to learn.  Alongside this, we ensure that the children read the Common Exception Words for their year group.  Whole class shared reading is used throughout school to enable all children to share high quality texts and develop skills in reading comprehension and fluency.  Reading skills are continually developed through the wider curriculum.


Teachers model reading strategies during shared reading sessions (including story time), whilst children have the opportunity to develop reading strategies and to discuss texts in detail during guided reading sessions. Children have daily literacy lessons with an emphasis on real texts.  Provision is made for children who require extra support through intervention and differentiated class teaching.

In Reception, children are introduced to the conventions of books, left to right, regarding the illustrations as an integral part of the story, turning pages etc. They build a sight vocabulary from the structured scheme whilst following the Monster Phonics programme. The scheme focusses on phoneme/grapheme recognition and the strategies of blending to read and segmenting to spell.

Guided Reading

Guided reading sessions allow children time to read as a whole class or in a small group, supported by a teacher or teaching assistant. Guided reading in FS and KS1 predominantly takes place in a small group. Children will read more challenging texts and will engage in discussion to develop comprehension skills. These books are not sent home, but remain the main source for the teacher to assess ongoing reading ability alongside termly tests.

Guided Reading is about understanding and comprehension, not just decoding. Reading for comprehension involves work based on the ability to recognise and recall literal features, organisational features and inferential features.

Children will be given reading related tasks to complete. These may include comprehension activities, review style tasks, writing about characters and settings, or even reading silently for enjoyment.

Home / School Reading Schemes

Every child in school has a reading book that they read both at home and in school. Parents are encouraged to hear their children read and then record any relevant comments.  In FS and KS1, we use the Monster phonics reading scheme books that match and support the children’s phonics development and ability. 

It is important that home reading books are texts that children can access and read demonstrating fluency and that they can discuss with ease.

To help children to understand the structure of books, to develop questioning and discussion skills, children in Reception begin their reading journey with wordless books. Even in Key Stage 2, children will sometimes read picture books because they often contain a wealth of discussion points, use of repetition, patterns, language features, varied plots etc that help to encourage children to become both readers and writers.

Promoting Reading

Displays in common areas promote the value of reading and the idea that we are all readers. Reading events (including, amongst others, National Children’s Book Week, Shakespeare Week and World Book Day) are used to encourage a love of books and reading. Class swaps, character costumes, whole school stories, peer reading events, book reviews and an annual book fair all take place at Ettington C of E Primary School.