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All Saints Catholic Collegiate


Why is reading important?

A strong foundation in reading is crucial to a child's success as they progress through primary school. It is a fundamental skill, which allows children to access every other area of their learning including; writing, maths, RE, science and the wider curriculum. Reading gives children a breadth of knowledge and experiences but also increases their confidence in many aspects of their life.

In order for children to become able and independent readers they need to:

  • Enjoyment and confidence – have a positive attitude towards books and reading. 
  • Accuracy –  decode words which they are reading without interrupting the flow.
  • Fluency – read at a comfortable speed with appropriate expression.  
  • Understanding –  comprehend the content of what they have read.

Children at Our Lady's engage in various reading activities each day at school; 

  • ERIC (Everybody reading in class) Reading for pleasure
  • Floppy Phonics - Daily sessions for all children who have not yet learnt the alphabetic code and skill to decode words. 
  • Guided reading
  • Cracking Comprehension   
  • One to one reading - Pupil reading to an adult. 
  • Shared reading 
  • Paired reading 
  • Listening to an adult read to them 
  • Reading in other subject areas
  • Accelerated reader  
  • Reading interventions

Early Reading and Phonics 

Phonics is recommended as the first strategy in which children should be taught to begin their reading journey. Children are taught to read using  Oxford Reading Tree: Floppy's phonics. This is a DFE approved scheme. 

Systematic - A structured, methodical system , teaching phonemes (sounds) and corresponding  graphemes (letters) using a clearly defined sequence. 

Synthetic - When phonemes (sounds), are associated with graphemes (letters), which are pronounced in isolation and then blended together.  

Phonics - A method of teaching reading, which uses sounds and symbols with an alphabetic writing system. 

Grapheme - the smallest meaningful contrastive unit in a writing system.

Digraph - Two letters that make one sound and when presented in the written system becomes a digraph. 

Trigraph- Three letters that make one sound and when presented in the written system becomes a trigraph. 

Decode - Decoding in reading is interpreting meaning from a written text. A simple example is segmenting the sounds in the word DOG - /d/ + /o/ + /g/ and then blending the sounds to make the word 'dog.' Decoding can also involve identifying separate word parts to determine the whole word, such as finding the familiar root word 'sense' in the longer word 'sensation,' then recognizing the suffix '-ation', then putting the word together.

Blending- To read the graphemes singular or when presented in letter groups of 2 and 3 and then blending each of the graphemes together to read the word. 

Segmenting -When the word is broken down to spell.  


Phase 1 /Level 1 Phonics

The journey of phonics begins  in the nursery class, where children take part within Phase 1 phonics activities. These daily activities place a huge emphasis on communication, listening, tuning into sounds, rhyme, understanding instructions and oral blending and segmenting. 

Activities are broken into seven different aspects:

  • Aspect 1 - Environmental Sound Discrimination
  • Aspect 2 - Instrumental Sound Discrimination
  • Aspect 3 - Body Percussion Sound Discrimination
  • Aspect 4 - Rhythm and Rhyme
  • Aspect 5 - Alliteration
  • Aspect 6 - Voice Sounds
  • Aspect 7 - Oral Blending and Segmenting

The purpose of these different aspects is to develop children's language abilities in the following ways;

  • Learning to listen attentively
  • Broadening their vocabulary
  • Speaking confidently to adults and other children
  • Discriminating between different phonemes
  • Reproducing audibly the phonemes they hear
  • Using sound-talk to segment words into phonemes 


Level 1+

When children begin the Reception class they will continue to take part within Phase 1/Level 1 activities, alongside the teaching of the 'Floppy Phonics' scheme. Level 1+ introduces children to 19 graphemes and 5 digraphs. 

  • During this level, children will be taught to recognise the graphemes and digraphs, learning how to blend sounds together to decode a word. 

Level 2  

  • The reception children will be introduced to another 5 graphemes, 9 digraphs and 2 trigraphs. 

Level 3

  • The Reception children will be introduced to another 14 digraphs and 5 trigraphs.

Level 4 

Children in Year 1 will begin their learning from Level 4. All children will take part within a whole class lesson. Interventions are put into place for those children working below the level 4 expectation. 

  • Level 4 consolidates and teaches alternative pronunciations and alternative spellings. 

Level 5 

  • Level 5 teaches all split digraphs. 


  "Learn to read so that you can read to learn". 


   The teaching of Phonics continues to follow the sequence set out in the Oxford reading Tree: Floppy's Phonics scheme, alongside the expectations of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and  New Primary Curriculum. 


Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader (AR) is a reading program which allows children to choose a book of their choice at their individual reading level. School staff can then monitor a child's individual progress. 

AR encourages differentiated reading practice to create strong, independent readers. Based on each child's independent reading level, AR helps school staff to set personalized goals for each child, and guide children to books that are difficult enough to keep them challenged, but not so difficult as to cause frustration. In addition, AR helps school staff to monitor children's' vocabulary growth, literacy skills development, and many other reading skills.

1.Determine reading level

First, a child's optimal reading level is determined through the STAR Reading Assessment. This assessment suggests a range of book levels for each child called the “zone of proximal development”,or ZPD. Children should begin reading books that have a level at the lower end of their ZPD and gradually move up the range in order to make optimum progress.

2. Set practice goals

School staff will then support children to set individualized reading practice goals based on reading quantity, quality, and difficulty and they can then monitor progress toward those goals.

3. Personalised practice

Personalised reading practice means children read books of interest at their own reading level. AR Book Finder makes it easy to find the perfect book.

4. Students take an AR Quiz

AR offers more than 150,000 quizzes of three types on both fiction and non-fiction titles. Children have many different options for taking AR Quizzes, including laptops, PCs and tablets as well as through the AR Student App available on Apple® devices.

5. Feedback 
Receive instant feedback. AR provides school staff with immediate information, helping them to monitor the comprehension skills of each child and inform further


Parent Partnership 

Helping children to make progress in reading is most successful when it is done in partnership between home and school. Before children attend school, they will have begun to explore the world of reading through sharing and exploring books with you. Once they have started to learn the skills required to read for themselves, they need to practice frequently. Helping your child to master the lifelong skills of reading and becoming a fluent, independent reader who develops a love for reading is one of the most important ways you can support your child’s learning at home. 

It is important that the children in; 

  • EYFS and KS1 read for 15 minutes each night
  • KS2 read  for 20 minutes each night

This will also help to develop stamina for reading. 

How to promote reading at home

  • Display books around the home. Have a book shelf available where books can be kept and looked after. 
  • Model reading by enjoying reading yourself.
  • Find a quiet place away from interruptions.
  • Hold the book carefully, taking care not to bend the pages. 
  • Spend a few minutes discussing the blurb, title and front cover before opening the book – What do you think this book is about?
  • Help and support your child if they get stuck on any words, do not simply tell them the words. Encourage them to work it out by locating digraphs and trigraphs within the word before encouraging them to decode and then blend the word back together. 
  • Ask your child questions to check their understanding of the text e.g. What was your favourite part? How did you feel about the main character? Which words tell you that the character is happy? What do you think is going to happen next?
  • Give your child lots of praise and encouragement.

Reading to and with your child is an enjoyable and positive experience. Talking about the things you read; books, newspapers, instructions, recipes, shopping lists etc. demonstrates that reading is a useful and a meaningful activity. Ensure your child knows you value reading – let them see you reading too!

Even when your child becomes an independent reader, sharing bedtime stories will enable your child to enjoy literature, extend their vocabulary and comprehension of stories. It is also an enjoyable experience for both parents and children alike. Often these shared stories are memories that children carry with them for life. The more stories and books your child hears, the more they will want to read and the greater their vocabulary will become.


 Encourage your child to join the local library to widen their choice of books.

How to join the library | How to join the library | Stoke-on-Trent


National League Tables and Results

Accelerated Reader (Quizzing)



Reading for pleasure at home