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Teaching Reading

Our Approach to Teaching Reading

At Hassocks Infants we want our children to be fluent, confident readers. Therefore our children will be exposed to a wealth of carefully chosen stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction texts which will develop their vocabulary, language comprehension and engender a genuine love of reading.  

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 texts. 

We are passionate about providing children with high quality texts to help develop a rich and varied language, stimulate their ideas and fire their imaginations. We have created a reading spine that you can access here. Reading is at the heart of our whole curriculum, underpinning all we do. 

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. Please see our phonics page for more information.  

In Year 2, we begin by following a similar lesson structure used in Reception and Year 1. Many children begin by reading books matched to their phonic level, using Little Wandle. Once children are fluent readers, they can move on to reading books off the phonics scheme. The phonic focus is on recapping phase 5 and using the Grow the Code chart (link here) in reading and writing. 

Phonic interventions for children who have not passed the phonic screening in Year 1 take place during this year. Towards the end of the year, in Year 2, children will have more independence and will begin to choose their own reading books from a wide range of longer stories, non-fiction texts and graphic novels. 

In our book corners we have a wide selection of books to inspire reading for pleasure: this includes books by well-known authors, books linked to our reading spine, books from other cultures, a range of non-fiction books, magazines and comics and poetry. In developing the key skills for reading, we aim to encourage enjoyment, confidence, fluency, accuracy, prosody and understanding - creating readers for life. 

Supporting your child with reading 

We very much value the family’s role in developing the child’s love of reading. Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practise at home. 

There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home: 

A reading practise book: This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently. 

A sharing book:  Your child may not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together. 

Reading practise 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. Children should be reading 90% of the words in these books confidently and independently. 

Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. 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. The main thing is that you have fun!