At Eastcote Primary Academy we recognise reading as a vital life skill and the aim for all our pupils is to foster a love of reading. We encourage the children to read a diverse range of books by a wide variety of authors.

We seek to develop a strong reading culture through planned activities which promote reading as a positive experience. Each class has a reading area with a variety of books, added to this we have a school library which is constantly growing.

Through enrichment days such as World Book Day, children enjoy a variety of book-related fun activities including choosing a well-known book to decorate the classroom doors and dressing up as their favourite book character.

Sharing books and developing a love for books begins in Nursery, where children choose a book with their parents to take home and share together; this is done twice a week.

In school we follow the ‘Phonics International’ DfE validated phonics programme with fidelity to the scheme. Children are taught the 44 phonemes that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling. Our approach to word recognition and decoding is systematic and synthetic and ensures the direct teaching of letter-sound correspondences, blending for reading, segmenting for writing, letter formation and sight-reading common exception words during discrete, sequenced, Phonic lessons.

Children have daily phonics lessons where they are introduced to new phonemes, can practice and revise previous learning and have plenty of opportunities to apply the knowledge they have.

As children progress from phonics we use a variety of reading materials from a range of different publishers to engage and challenge our young readers.

The Reading Scheme materials that we use in school include:

  • Phonics International
  • Oxford Reading Tree
  • Story World
  • Ginn
  • Song Bird (Phonic Books)
  • When children are fluent readers they can then choose their own reading material from the school library.

In school, children read with an adult regularly. How this is done depends upon the age and ability of the child. The types of reading include individual reading, shared reading, guided reading, whole class reading and independent reading, as appropriate for the child, text and learning objectives.

As children progress, they will deepen their understanding of the meaning of the text, rather than simply knowing how to link the letters into sounds and pronounce words. When the children are old enough they begin to participate in Guided Reading. This starts as a continuation of the teaching of how to decode unfamiliar words using phonic skills and quickly moves on to discussing the understanding of the text. During Year 2 children are introduced to higher order reading skills in Guided Reading sessions such as inference and deduction.

Children learn best when home and school work together. Parents are encouraged to hear their children read regularly at home. Parents and children can spend time enjoying a book together; not simply decoding words but discussing the text and checking a child’s understanding. This will enhance the child’s love of reading and improve their own writing too.

View the Phonics International presentation here