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Mesne Lea

Primary School

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Reading and Phonics

Reading Team





Miss Alexander -Phonics Lead (Maternity Leave)                      Miss Osborn - Reading Lead



Mrs Stott - Phonics Lead (Maternity Cover)


Every Child a Reader


Reading provides the gateway to access of the wider curriculum and is the most important life skill children develop as part of their education. Studies show that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance. Likewise, evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who do not, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.


Our pupils begin to learn to read and write as they enter the Early Years Foundation Stage. In Nursery, children have abundant opportunities to engage with books, poems, and rhymes which are supported with props and role play experiences. Nursery children are exposed to activities linked to sounds both environmentally and musically. In order to lay foundations for early reading and writing, our youngest pupils engage in physical and practical sessions to support phonological awareness, oral blending and segmenting.


Beginning in the Early Years Foundation Stage, and continuing into Y1, our children are exposed to the Read, Write, Inc. Phonics Programme which continues through into Key Stage One. Read, Write, Inc, Phonics is taught daily, in small ability groupings, based on reading progress. In Reception, the alphabetic code is emphasised so that pupils rapidly learn sounds and the letter, or group of letters, they need to represent them. Simple mnemonics help the children to grasp this quickly so they are able to progress onto blending the sounds they know into words.  Pupils have frequent practice of reading high frequency words with irregular spellings (common exception words).


Pupils in the EYFS and KS1 read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and the common exception words.  This enables our children to experience success and gain confidence when reading. Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher supports their increasingly fluent decoding. Alongside this, the teaching and learning team read a wide range of stories, poems and non-fiction texts to pupils, who are soon able to read these themselves.


Any pupils with Special Educational Needs or who have not completed the Read Write Inc. programme by the end of Y2 continue to access this until they can read. Daily One to One Tutoring is put into place to support these pupils further.


Once children are proficient in word reading, they begin to develop their reading fluency and comprehension skills. Reading Fluency is taught discretely at the beginning of every reading session following a six step model. This provides the children with opportunities to review and revisit a text to build their reading fluency. The class teacher surveys the text, providing an analysis to support children’s understanding of an author’s decision making to support the reader to read fluently. Children then have the opportunity to practice, rehearse and perform.


Children in Y2 and beyond, continue to have daily reading lessons which focus primarily on practising reading fluency and developing reading comprehension skills. During these reading lessons pupils use reciprocal reading techniques when engaging with class novels, read a wide variety of different text types including fiction, non-fiction and poetry, read aloud and perform to others, study vocabulary and read and answer a variety of different comprehension questions linked to the KS2 reading domains. Children have the opportunity to observe modelled answers explained by their teacher and are taught skimming and scanning techniques to develop their comprehension skills