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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 Teach Hub Phonics Letters and Sounds programme. 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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We follow the Teach Hub Letters and Sounds programme for phonics. Our phonics curriculum takes children through six Phases, with children typically moving through Phases 1-4 during EYFS, 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.

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, known as Dream Reads - where children are given a book to take home and share with their adult/s. 

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In Reception, children are taught the technical skills of reading but are also taught how to talk about books through daily whole-class 'Book Talk' sessions. 


Reception children take home a decodable reading book aligned to the phonics they have learnt in school, which they take home to practice and develop their reading. We also have a set of Reception 'Dream Reads' which are sent home on a weekly basis, to encourage parents/ carers to read to their children at home. 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. 

YR Dream Reads Downloadable Overview

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One of the core priorities of our school is to encourage reading for pleasure.


Each half term, in Nursery and Reception, we have chosen five books for the children to listen to, engage with, discuss, retell and enjoy. In Nursery the books have strong rhyme or repeated refrains, repeated patterns, familiar authors and a wide range of vocabulary. This continues into Reception, where some of the authors introduced in Nursery are then picked up again.


The children in Reception are exposed to different types of stories; traditional tales, books with repeated refrains/rhyme, books linked to diversity, well-being and PSHE themes as well as a number of books that we believe the children just need to be introduced to.


Across their two year journey in our Early Years, the children will become familiar with and know, 60 high quality texts. By providing the children with a wide range of books, varied in genre and style, we hope to embed the skills required to broaden depth in speech and language whilst also enhancing an understanding of story patterns and sequential narrative.

Nursery and Reception - Favourite Five Overview






In Year 1 we continue to send home a weekly Dream Read to ensure all of our pupils are being exposed to a range of stories and promote book talk at home. 

Y1 Dream Reads Downloadable Overview

In Y2-Y6, the children can access our Challenge Reading Trees. Each tree offers 50 books - a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry - and children are challenged to see how many of the books they can read! 

Y2 Challenge Tree Card

Y3 Challenge Tree Card 

Y4 Challenge Tree Card 

Y5 Challenge Tree Card 

Y6 Challenge Tree Card 

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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. 


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. 

Children who are reading at the age-related standard or above are challenged to read as many books as they can on their class challenge reading tree. The trees are designed to broaden children's reading diet. 


The importance of home reading.

Our Reading Rewards.





At 3pm classes take part in ERIC time. During this time the class teacher or teaching assistant reads a book to the children or, children are given time to enjoy 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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