School opens at 8.40am, the school day starts at 8.50am and finishes at 3.20pm from 5 September 2022.

Phonics and Reading

Our long term aim is for all children to love and develop a passion for reading. Reading is a skill we continue to develop throughout our lives, but starting this process as early as possible has significant benefits for our continued success as readers, as well as opening the doors to all learning across the curriculum.

Reading is implemented everywhere in our school. This is a skill we use every day across all subjects. We believe unless children can read, they cannot learn to the full.

Reading is taught through a systematic programme of phonics.  Children in Nursery are made aware of sounds around them and the focus is on aural awareness and development.  As children progress into Reception class, this basis is built upon via daily phonics sessions and opportunities to practice what they have learnt outside of these sessions.  Pupils begin with picture-only books and are encouraged to talk about what they can see, before moving on to phonetically decodable books.

Commonly used words (‘High frequency’ words) are taught as part of phonics sessions. The school follows the 'Read Write Inc' phonics programme which begins in Nursery and continues until children are confident and speedy readers, who decode accurately and read for meaning.

Knowledge of high frequency words, development of reading skills and reading for meaning are embedded through guided reading with the teaching staff, and further practised at home with additional reading books.  This practice continues into Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 as appropriate.  Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils read fortnightly on a one to one basis with their teacher and take a reading book home for consolidation. 

Find out more at Read Write Inc.

Reading Comprehension is taught through reading skills lessons, in addition to being an integral part of all writing teaching. Pupils read a range of engaging fiction and non-fiction texts that are appropriate for their level of comprehension. Activities are planned to support understanding of the text and to develop pupils' skills in decoding, predicting, questioning, clarifying, imagining and summarising. Children are taught the content domains through VIPERS to make the skills they are learning accessible.

In 2019, 87% of Year 1 pupils passed the National Phonics Screen. Additional support is put in place for pupils who may need further consolidation of sounds taught. This occurs throughout KS1, beginning in Autumn term in Year 1 and will continue throughout and into KS2 if necessary.  

In Key Stage 2, children take part in regular specific reading skills lessons three times a week which develops their comprehension and inference skills. They are encouraged to read widely for their own pleasure, enjoyment and information.  These reading activities also help to support children as they learn to ‘read as writers’ and ‘write as readers’. Teachers read a ‘class novel’ with their classes daily to model and embed reading skills. 

Reading Challenge

We have a 'Reading Ninja' challenge for all of our children at St. Charles' to encourage them to read a variety of books for their own pleasure.

Children are encouraged to read their home/school reading books but also reading books of their own interest with a ‘bonus book’ choice from our school library to promote a love and pleasure for reading. We believe that a joint approach between school and home is optimal for cultivating both skills and passion for reading, and encourage pupils to take books home to read with family members.

So, how can we inspire our children to get into reading for fun?

Encourage your child to read at home ~ find a comfortable spot and curl up with a book. Try and read your child's home/school reading book, bonus book or their own book for pleasure and write a brief comment in their Reading Record Book and sign the entry. Some children may wish to write their own entry about their thoughts on the book or characters they particularly like.  

In every classroom you will see a 'Reading Ninja' display which shows the different ninja belts. Every child has their own ninja with which they can move up the ninja ranks as they earn the next level ninja belt every time they 'smash through reading' with another book. Children can count up their reading entries, move their ninja and receive a ninja stamp on their Reading Reward Chart.

Encourage your child to bring their reading record book and home/school reading book into class every day, this will allow us to listen to them read and share their book with them as often as possible. Try and aim for a minimum of five entries per week.

Who will take on our 'Reading Ninja Challenge'?

We love reading!