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Reading Statement for School Website (Updated September 2019)


At St. Filumena’s we believe that reading is really important and that having a good set of reading skills and strategies will enable your child to achieve across all areas of the curriculum.  We begin teaching phonics in the Reception Class using the Jolly Phonics actions for the sounds and we follow the Letters and Sounds document.  This good practice is then continued throughout Key Stage 1 to ensure a systematic synthetic phonics programme is followed. 


Children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 take part in phonics lesson for 20 minutes each day.  The very small number of pupils who do not meet the standard of the phonics test at Year 1 receive targeted support throughout Year 2 and KS2 to ensure that they progress.

Here are some of the resources that we use in our lessons:

  • Phonics Play website - interactive games
  • flashcards showing the tricky words, graphemes and decodable words in each Phonics Phase
  • A4 wipeable whiteboards and dry wipe pens - very useful for handwriting and sentence writing
  • magnetic letters
  • messy play materials; dough, foam, sand, hair gel, magic sand, alien slime/putty and lots of messy manipulative materials to use to form and write letter sounds
  • games such as treasure or bin, cross the river, word hunt, bingo, phonics kung fu, robot disco and many more


Our reading scheme complements this as the majority of books are phonically decodable at the appropriate book band.  Our reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree in EYFS and KS1 and includes Floppy's Phonics (Fiction and Non-Fiction), Decode and Develop, Songbirds Phonics and Oxford Reading Tree Traditional Tales.  We also supplement our scheme with other books from Rigby Rockets, Red Cat, Big Cat Collins, Project X, Bug Club, Read Theory and Cracking Comprehension.


All classes participate in a daily Guided Reading session where they are explicitly taught about word reading and comprehension skills.  This is introduced to Reception Class after Christmas .  Key Stage 1 pupils have a minimum of 20 minutes per day, and this increases to a minimum of 30 minutes a day in Key Stage 2. 


In Reception Class and Year 1, the guided reading sessions are delivered using book banded Collins Big Cat group readers.  There is a balance between fiction and non-fiction, with each group being heard read slightly above their independent book band level. 


In Year 2 through to Year 6, we use Reading Explorers (including Reading Classics and Reading Listeners) to deliver guided reading sessions.  Children also practice their comprehension skills through the use of CPG papers, NERF readers, Twinkl guided readers, Project X Origins, Classroom Secrets, Nelson Readers and other age appropriate extracts specially chosen for guided reading. Comprehension activities take place weekly throughout the school within English lessons, enhanced by a variety of resources including Focus Education, Rising Stars Cracking Comprehension, Pobble and Bug Club.


Children are also encouraged to read for pleasure, choosing their own books from the library. Each child has a library card and each class has a designated time to visit.  Classes are also encouraged to visit the local libraries outside of school, and we engage with them for trips and visits into school whenever possible.


The majority of children will become a ‘free choice’ reader by the time they leave Year 4.  At this stage they are encouraged to visit both the school and local libraries and to take part in whole school and national events to celebrate a love of reading (see School Celebrating Reading Calendar).  Guided reading and regular comprehension practice support children’s understanding of a variety of text types.  Those children who require additional support will remain using the reading scheme (which can support up to a reading age and comprehension of 13 and beyond - Stage 20).



Curriculum guidance for parents

Phonics and Spelling