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a vital skill that supports children’s learning across the whole curriculum.

At Shield Row Primary School, reading is promoted as an intrinsic part of teaching and learning. 
The ability to read is not only the key to learning but it also has a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances.


As a school, we will ensure that our children are taught to read with fluency, accuracy and understanding through a variety of discreet and cross-curricular learning opportunities.


Above all, we want children in our school to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers. 

We want our children to fall in love with reading so that it brings them pleasure and allows them to experience new things, discover new worlds and explore the emotions of others. 

In EYFS and Key Stage One the children are taught to read and write following the ‘Letters and Sounds’ curriculum. This programme teaches children to decode (break down) words into their smallest units of sound (phonemes) systematically.  


In the Early Years, teachers use actions and songs for each sound to help the children remember the letter shape, name and the sound it makes. This is particularly important for kinaesthetic learners (children who learn by ‘doing’).

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Phonics Phases


Our phonics curriculum takes children through six Phases, with children typically moving through Phases 1-4 during Reception, and then onto Phase 5 and 6 throughout Year 1 and 2.

With lots of repetition and weekly development of skills, we find that we are able to really build confidence and challenge children at an appropriate level.

Phase 1

The focus is on listening and making sounds with mouths and bodies—e.g. environmental sounds, rhyme, rhythm, alliteration and early letter recognition.


Phase 2

Each week, children learn single letters and their corresponding sounds in a useful order (e.g. SATPIN) so that they can begin to blend and segment short words.


Phase 3

Phase 3 introduces ‘friendly letters’ letters (where two letters make one sound, e.g. ai, oa, sh). Skills in blending and segmenting are further developed.

Phase 4

This phase is an opportunity to recap all Phase 2/3 sounds in a range of contexts. Children begin to read and write 2-syllable words and words where two sounds are close together  (e.g. s-l-i-p / p-l-ay / f-r-igh-t). 


Phase 5

Tackles the complexities of spelling in English and teaches children to explore alternative spellings and pronunciations for all sounds (e.g. all different spellings of /ay/).  They will learn how to apply a ‘best bet’ rule (e.g. /oi/ in the middle, /oy/ at the end) and will begin reading and talking about suffixes.


Phase 6

Children begin to tackle grammatical rules for the spellings when writing tenses, adding suffixes and prefixes, contractions and strategies for spelling tricky words.

If you would like to find out more about Letters and Sounds visit their website here.

Phonics in Reception - Overview of Teaching 

Phonics in Year 1- Overview of Teaching 

Shield Row Approach to Teaching Phonics - Overview 

Phonics Glossary


We support children in using their phonics to support spelling from Reception to Year 6 using 6 different Phonics and Spelling Charts. Here is a sample of these resources: 

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Reading in Early Years 

Reading is a high priority within Early Years and underpins everything we do. This includes making sure topics taught are built around a wide selection of books linked to children’s interests.


In Nursery, the importance of reading starts as links are established through the weekly ‘Lending Library’ where children can choose a book, with their adult, to take home for the week. These are accompanied by suggested activities which help to engage families with the books and have fun! 

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In Reception, children are taught the technical skills of reading but are also taught how to talk about books through whole class taught sessions and small group work. Reception children have a balance of phonics based, ORT books and ‘real’ books to develop the wide range of reading skills. These 'real' books are our Dream Reads. We have selected a set of wonderful books which we feel will give our children an enjoyable and varied reading diet by the time they leave Reception. Our Dream Reads are sent home with the children weekly to be enjoyed with their adult/s. 

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Reading in KEY STAGES 1 & 2

Children in Years 1-6 continue to be supported with developing their reading fluency, accuracy and stamina as well as the progression of comprehension skills. This is achieved through both group and whole-class reading sessions.


All of our English units are planned around high quality texts to ensure our pupils are immersed in quality literature. 

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Children receive daily guided reading sessions, which run in small groups, and a weekly whole class reading lesson to support their reading skill development. 

Shield Row Approach the the Teaching of Reading


All pupils across school have two reading books which go home. The first is a banded book based on their reading level, aimed to build reading confidence and develop reading skills. The second is a free choice library book chosen for enjoyment. This may be a book that they will share with an adult at home, or read alone. 

More able readers will be given a challenge book, chosen by their teacher. This is to enrich their reading experiences and encourage them to try different genres and authors. As other confident readers may also have been given the same text, it also opens up opportunities for book talk within class.


See our home reading approach here.  

You'll find helpful question prompts to help develop your child's reading skills at home, here.





At 3pm every class takes part in ERIC time. Three days per week this is the class teacher or teaching assistant reading a book to the children and two days per week this is the children enjoying their own books whilst adults circulate to hear children read. 

Our ERIC time books are sometimes chosen by the children in the class; if they like a particular author or they have seen a book/ heard an extract and would quite like to read it. Sometimes the books are chosen by the teachers as they would like the children to try a certain author or genre. This choice may be linked to previous authors or books the class have read, as our ERIC time books are collated in the class' Reading Journey books and passed up to the next teacher. This way we can see the books they have already experienced and what they thought of them. 

We also have non-fiction zones based in the school corridors. These are set up with cosy seating areas to welcome children to sit and enjoy the books. These areas are timetabled across the week so that each day a group of children from Reception to Y6 access the zones during ERIC and the older children can read/ share non-fiction texts with the younger children. 

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The download links below provide a wealth of information to help support your child's reading.

Bronze Level - Bronze Reading Certificate and Reading sticker

Silver Level - Silver Reading Certificate and Shield Row Primary bookmark 

Gold Level - Gold Reading Certificate and Super Star Reader badge 


Once their sticker chart is full, they will be able to visit the Reading Rewards Cabinet and select a book which will be gifted to them from school.  

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To encourage children to read regularly at home we have a rewards system linked to home reading. We ask our parents/ carers to read with their child at least 3 times per week. Children's reading records are checked every Friday. If children have managed to log 3 or more reads that week they will be issued a raffle ticket for the school's termly drawer and they will be given a sticker for their rewards chart. The first prize in the termly draw is a Kid's Kindle; second and third prizes are book vouchers. The children collect stickers to earn:

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