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At Chad Vale we are determined that every child will learn to read, regardless of background, needs or abilities. We want our children to be fluent, confident readers. They will be exposed to a wealth of stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction to develop their vocabulary, language comprehension and engender a genuine love of reading and a keen interest in a range of texts. We work to inspire them to become life-long readers who enjoy books and have a desire to read for pleasure.

In order for the children to have the will to read, and be able to read to learn, they need to have secure skills in reading so that they can read with fluency and comprehension. Reading is at the heart of our whole curriculum underpinning every subject area. We want every child to read widely, and to gain a rich knowledge across the curriculum. By offering a wide range of texts we aim to broaden their minds and experiences to allow them to empathise with the world in which they live and support the development of their cultural capital. Reading is such an important life skill that it is imperative we enable them to become independent readers who can easily process information, fully engage in all learning and be well prepared for their next stage of their education.

By the end of KS1, children will be fluent at decoding, and by the age of 11, we aim for children to be able to:

  • read with confidence, fluency and good understanding, drawing upon a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct;

  • have an interest in a wide range of reading materials and read spontaneously for enjoyment and pleasure;

  • read confidently to acquire information;

  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading;

  • meet age related expectations for reading, with the aspiration to exceed them.

Early Reading at Chad Vale Primary School

We teach early reading through the systematic, synthetic phonics programme Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. Right from the start of Reception children have a daily phonics lesson which follows the progression for Little Wandle Letters and Sounds and this continues in Year One to ensure children become fluent readers.

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 Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress (please click here for the progression).

Four new phonemes and their corresponding graphemes are taught (GPCs) each week and they are then used in the final lesson of the week to review the week’s learning. Children will also learn tricky words during these sessions.

In the Autumn and Spring term, Reception learn phase 2 and phase 3 GPCs and then will spend the final term learning phase 4.

Year 1 begin the Autumn term with 3 weeks of revision of phases 2, 3 and 4 before learning phase 5, which will be completed by the end of the year. Year 2 children will begin the year by revisiting phase 5 and other previously taught phases to ensure all children are completely confident with applying these GPCs in both their reading and also their writing. (please click on the overview document to see what this progression looks like).

Half termly assessments take place through Reception and Year 1 to help inform future teaching and help identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and need additional practice. Daily assessment of learning also takes place within the classroom so staff can quickly identify any children who are in danger of falling behind and provide the appropriate daily ‘Keep Up’ intervention.

For support with the pronunciation of the phonemes taught, please refer to the videos below.

Y1 children going ‘On a Bear Hunt’!
Y3 Easter Production 2018
‘Ali Baba and The Bongo Bandits’ – Y6, July


Reading Practice Sessions

Children in Reception and Year 1, read fully decodable books with an adult twice a week during our ‘Reading Practice’ sessions. These books are then sent home for children to build their reading fluency and showcase their developing skills and phonetic knowledge to their parents/carers. These two reading practice sessions each have a different focus; decoding, prosody and comprehension. We predominantly use Little Wandle Letters and  Sounds Revised Big Cat books in these sessions.


Supporting your child with reading

Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.

There are two types of reading book that your child will bring home in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

Reading practice book

This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.

Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, ask them to decode (sound it out) and blend it. After they have finished, talk about the book together.

Sharing book

In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together.

Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. In addition, after reading the book you can pick out some words and help them to expand their vocabulary by discussing alternatives for these words. The main thing is though that you have fun!

Reading in Year 2 and Beyond

From the latter part of the Autumn term in Year 2 and right through to the end of Year 6, key reading skills are taught through a whole class reading model.

The rationale for using this approach, as opposed to a ‘traditional’ Guided Reading carousel structure is as follows:

  • All children are being taught reading skills by the teacher every day, whereas under the old Guided Reading system, children were only given the teacher’s expert instruction once a week.

  • Whole Class Reading exposes all children to good quality texts so that all children will benefit from being exposed to higher level vocabulary.

  • Teachers follow structured weekly plans, and are able to develop various aspects of reading and comprehension skills with the whole class.

  • Teaching Assistants are still present in lessons and will support small groups of children where needed.


During Whole Class Reading sessions, teachers instruct pupils on skills relating to seven key reading strategies. These are promoted in lessons using our ‘Chad Vale Reading Gems’ – used universally across all Key Stage 2 classes to provide consistency and continuity of approach.


Consider how texts link and connect to the reader and their own life, to other texts they have been exposed to and to the world around them.


Retrieve and record information / identify key details from fiction and non-fiction.


Predict what might happen from details stated and implied.


Use the ‘clues’ that a writer has given to make inferences from the text / explain and justify inferences with evidence.


Develop a wider vocabulary in order to understand what is being read as well as using clues within sentences to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.


Summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph.


Identify / explain how information / narrative content is related and contributes to meaning as a whole.


In order to expose children to a wide range of text types, each year group follows a half termly structure as detailed below:



In doing so, children are explicitly taught the key reading comprehension skills through exposure to high-quality fiction and non-fiction texts, poetry, songs, picture books and films – ensuring that a commitment to developing skilled and strategic readers with a growing love of literature is fostered.

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