English – Reading

English – Reading

At Claremont Primary School we actively encourage reading for pleasure whilst recognising that it is a vital life-skill that all children need. Reading is taught as part of the National Curriculum for English. Children learn to read a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, and use their reading skills in many other areas of the curriculum.

Children are introduced to reading as soon as they start in our Nursery through listening to and sharing stories. From Reception, and throughout Key Stage 1, children have a daily phonics lesson to learn letter sounds and how to use this to read words.


These lessons help children learn letter sounds and how to put them together to read words, and also how to break up words into sounds for spelling. The children follow a programme called Letters and Sounds and these lessons are for 20 minutes every day in Reception and KS1. In KS2 children move on to a programme called Support for Spelling which helps them learn all the spelling rules. The children learn in phases.

Phase 1 – Hearing and playing with sounds

Phase 2 – Learning letters and their sounds

Phase 3 – Learning other ways to make sounds, like sh and ch

Phase 4 – Learning to read and write words with more sounds in them

Phase 5 – Learning all the other ways we write down sounds

Saying Sounds

Below is a link to a video clip showing the correct way to say each sound. This is important because children need to put sounds together to make words.

You may find the link to the BBC website useful:

Guided reading

All children have Guided Reading lessons, where they learn the strategies needed to read a range of books. These lessons are in small groups. Children will take part in a range of reading activities.

Word lists

Here are the word lists that your child is expected to read in each year group. These can be printed off and you can work on them at home.

Phase 2
Phase 3
Phase 4
Phase 5

Taking Books home

KS1 – Children take at least one book home with them. These books help them to practise what they have learnt in class. It is very important that your child reads these books every night. In KS1 we use a wide range of reading books, including:

  • Oxford reading Tree
  • Lighthouse
  • Rigby star
  • PM Books

There is a Reading Record Book that also goes home and you can write any comments you have in these.

In KS1 all books are banded with a colour sticker. As your child becomes a better reader they will move through the colours. The chart below shows the order.

KS2 – Most children will be working at orange /turquoise level by the end of Y1 and gold/white by the end of Y2.

All children take home books to read a home.There is a wide range of individual titles, including fiction and non-fiction.

In Key Stage 2 children will take part in the Accelerated Reader Scheme. Here books are put into levels and each child takes a reading test and is then given their book level. They select their own books and read these in school and at home. When a book is finished they take an online quiz to check how much they have understood.

Parents are encouraged to write in their child’s reading record book, and in Key Stage 2 can also check online to see how many books their child has read and how well they have performed in the quizzes.

www.oxfordowl.co.uk is a free online reading book website. It is full of interactive reading books that your child can read at home.

Library Visits

Classes visit Fallowfield Library every half-term. Each child can borrow 1 book to bring back to school. These books are then shared between the class.

You are encouraged to take your child to join the library. They can then borrow books, talking books and DVDs. This is another way that you can help your child to learn to read.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I read with my child?

For young children read little and often. Short periods of 10 minutes every day are much better. Older children will need longer because the books have more text.

When should I read with them?

Try to find a quiet time away from distractions. Bedtime is a good time. Try to read with your child every day.

What are the right books to read?

Try to pick books that your child is interested in. They can be story books or information books. Staff at the library or in bookshops will help you.if a book is too hard you can help by reading part of it, or by talking about the pictures.

Encourage your child to read anything – signs, posters, food cartons, newspapers, comics, adverts. Even young children can find letters they know.

What happens if I can’t read English?

You can still talk about the book in your own language. Children who listen to stories in other languages will become better readers.

What questions should I ask about the book?

If it is a story book ask them about what has happened. Talk about the characters and what they do. Ask them to think about what might happen next. Here are some questions you can use.

Before you read

Ask – “Let’s read the title. What do you think the book is about?”

Half way through

Ask – “How do you think the story is going to end?”

After you read

Can you tell me what happened in the book?

What was your favourite part of the book? Why did you like that bit?

What characters were in the story?

What character did you like the best? Why?

What picture did you like the best?