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Reading and Phonics

“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.”

At Leighton our aim is for every child, regardless of their background, to leave primary school with the ‘gift of reading’ for pleasure and purpose with the essential reading ‘tools’ they need to succeed in their everyday lives. It is vital that our approach to the teaching of Phonics and Early Reading is accessible to all learners. Our intent is to provide an integrated curriculum which values the teaching of speaking, listening, understanding, spelling and vocabulary learning alongside written literacy skills.   

Reading / Comprehension

By the time our children leave Leighton, readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary using their knowledge of decoding, retrieval, inference and background knowledge. Our children learn to read with accuracy, confidently gaining meaning and pace on their journey towards automaticity in reading. 

Shared, Guided and Echo Reading Sessions

These approaches provide a model of prosody, expression and punctuation for our learners. Staff are trained to deliver 1:1 reading experiences that focus on shared enjoyment, the child as a partner in reading alongside the gaining of reading skills and developing reading confidence. Assessment is used to monitor progress and identify any child requiring additional support as soon as they need it.

‘Everyday readers’

This intervention is designed for vulnerable pupils who need additional daily practice to support them in securing learning and to catch up, so the gap between their peers does not widen. Pupils are exposed to both fiction and non-fiction and cross-curricular learning provides our children with the opportunity to tell and retell stories, hear and rehearse poetry, nursery and Action Rhymes.

Because teaching every child to read is integral, we have Phonics and Reading Leaders who both drive the early reading programme at Leighton. These leaders are highly skilled at teaching phonics and reading, and they monitor and support our team, so everyone teaches the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised programme with fidelity and implements our School’s Reading Policy consistently.

‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 02) ‘The will influences the skill & vice versa.’ (OECD 10)

We value reading and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy through our ‘Daily Reading Pledge’. Teachers read to children every day. We choose texts carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Leighton 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 plethora of genres.

Home Reading

From the start, our children take home decodable practice books to celebrate their success with their family. Alongside these they also choose books from our class library to share and read together. These help to engage our pupils, build confidence in seeing themselves as a reader.