"The pupils that I heard read use their phonics skills exceptionally well to sound out and read difficult words. Pupils read with expression. They can re-tell what they have read in their own words. This is because, as well as reading for pleasure, they  practise finding information from different kinds of texts." OFSTED 2020

Teaching children to read at Farndon Primary School

Learning to read is central to all learning in school. Everything else depends on it. We put as much energy into reading skills from the time the children enter our Nursery as we believe it is extremely important.

We want children to develop a passion for reading, we want them to be able to read for themselves. We aim to ensure that all children have a love of books as well as being able to read independently.

Recently, we held a Reading Talk to parents about our new "Read for the Stars" scheme to encourage children to read for pleasure at home. Here are some of the comments from our parents. 

"I now have a much better understanding of the importance of reading.You have inspired me."

"Read for the stars is a great idea and the talk and videos were motivating and inspirational."

Suggested Reading Lists

Click on the web links below that give parents recommended book lists

Readers 3+

Readers 5+

Readers 7+

Readers 9+

Readers 11+      

How we teach reading – some answers for parents

We start to teach ‘tuning in’ and sound discrimination games in Nursery. Singing Nursery Rhymes, listening and differentiating between environmental sounds are all key early reading skills. As soon as we feel your child is ready for letter sounds be begin to introduce The Read Write Inc Phonics programme.

How will my child be taught to read?

The children are screened when they enter Reception and again throughout their time in the Infant department. This means that we know which phonics group to place them in based on how many sounds they know. The children will be moved in and out of groups according to their need. We then introduce new phonic sounds which helps children know how to ‘read’ and how to sound out words they need to write. We teach the children simple ways of remembering how to recognise sounds and letters, we begin with m which we say ‘mmmmmmmm’ Maisie, mountain, mountain.  Ask the children to show you how we say the sounds! We then teach the children different ways of making the same sound: ay (may I play) ai (snail in the rain) a-e (make a cake) and build on this until the end of Year 2.

We also teach ‘red’ words, these are words that are ‘tricky’ and cannot be sounded out: I, the, no, go, said, have, are some examples of this type of word. Some children have "race tracks" to help them learn some of these words.

The children practise reading (and spelling) the red words. They also read books in class and we expect parents to support reading by signing reading journals to show when you have listened to your child read at home.

As teachers we also read to the children several times a day to ensure that they share our love of books and develop an understanding of different genres, information books, poetry, comics, stories. By sharing a wide range of text the children build on their vocabulary which helps to support their writing.

Reading schemes which we follow

For personal reading, the pupils choose reading material from a coloured band. The children are regularly assessed to ascertain which band they should be on. We have a mixture of different schemes including Snapdragons, Pearson, Collins Big Cat and Oxford Reading Tree.

In guided reading, teachers in the Infants use banded texts from Rigby Star and Oxford Reading Tree. As the children become more confident in their reading, we also use quality texts so to help the pupils develop a love for books and reading.

How will I know how well my child is doing?

We aim to keep you informed of your child’s progress through parents evenings and writing in their reading journals. If we feel your child needs extra 1:1 or small group support with their reading, we will let you know.

We screen the children in Year 1 to let you know how your child is performing compared to the rest of the children in the country. The Government introduced this phonics screening check a few years ago and there is a meeting about this with the Year 1 teacher every year.

What can I do to help?

Please read with your child as much as possible, this greatly supports their progress in school. At Farndon we love to share your child’s work in their Read Write Inc group and slips go home in the reading journals, you can then reinforce this learning at home.

If you have any concerns about reading and your child’s progress please contact the class teacher. Children are all different and won’t learn to read at the same rate and pace, it can take some time for children to learn how to segment or blend sounds. Your continued support makes a great difference.

Files to Download

‘Unlocking the Potential’