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Subject Intent

At Shenley Primary School, we are passionate about Reading; the teaching of Reading takes a high priority within the curriculum. Our aim is to ensure children can read well, as this key factor can significantly impact on success in school and beyond. Reading transports children to an imagined world far beyond their own experiences. We want our children to develop a 'love' of reading and take full advantage of the pleasure it offers. We aim to develop a positive attitude towards reading so that each child sees itself as a reader. We have developed our reading corners to inspire children to want to read, and experience this in a place of safety and inspiration.

We aim to improve pupils’ vocabulary and reading through the explicit teaching of skills to ALL pupils daily. This is done through whole class teaching, using the sequence of skills from the National Curriculum for each year group, and appropriate texts matched to pupils’ ability and interests, to engage pupils and develop a depth of understanding. Phonics knowledge, decoding and oral comprehension is tracked half-termly against a series of checkpoints. Those children not meeting expectations are included in a variety of intervention groups to boost their skills. These interventions include Early Morning Readers, the Fluency Project and others tailored to meet the needs of individual children.

At Shenley Primary School, we use Letters & Sounds to deliver daily phonics lessons in the EYFS and KS1. This programme is used alongside Phonics Bug, which is an interactive teaching tool, providing games and activities to enhance the children’s learning. We structure our sessions using the Letters & Sounds formula:


Revisit and Review the sounds we know

Teach the new sound for the lesson and tricky words

Practise blending and reading words with a new grapheme

Practise segmenting and spelling words with a new grapheme

Apply reading or writing a caption or sentence using one or more tricky words, and words containing the graphemes


Children apply their phonics knowledge to read real and ‘alien’ words (KS1). Children ‘have a go’ at writing by sounding out words. Children in Year 1, who are required to take the phonics-screening test in June, sit ‘mock’ screenings throughout the year.  A baseline screening happens in the Autumn Term, which enables children to be split into phonics ability groups. This enables them to be both supported and challenged in their learning. Children in Year 2 who passed the Year 1 screening, move on to discrete spelling sessions that build on the phonetic skills they have acquired.  There are also interventions in place for those children at KS2 who require extra phonetic support.


National Curriculum Aims for Phonics

The National Curriculum for Phonics aims to ensure that all pupils:

· Learn to segment and blend sounds in order to read them phonetically

· Learn to decode words as a means to be able to read them by sight

· Are able to identify and read the 40+ graphemes taught across phases 2-5

· Understand and be able to read words that cannot be sound out phonetically e.g. ‘tricky words’