English normanton all saints

‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.’

Dr Seuss

At Normanton All Saints CE (A) Infant School we highly value reading and understand that reading is fundamental to function in today’s society. Reading is a life skill that needs to be taught, nurtured and developed. Enjoying books and reading stories from a very early age is crucial in reading development and therefore this begins with our youngest children in our nursery setting.

We value that reading teaches children about the world around them, develops imagination and enables them to understand and use a wide range of words. We understand the need for children to gain good phonics knowledge alongside an understanding of vocabulary and comprehension in order for them to become a confident and fluent reader.

Reading has a unique contribution to learning as it enables children to achieve success in all other areas of the curriculum. Therefore the teaching of reading is given a high priority throughout the school with all staff recognising the importance of teaching skills thoroughly and instilling positive attitudes towards reading.

Time in the school day is dedicated to story time where children have the opportunity to listen to a story read to them by an adult who brings the book to life. These books are carefully chosen to provide an engaging and enjoyable experience and aims to develop a love of reading. Initiatives such as the class reader of the week, whole school book weeks, reading cafes, parent and child story time and weekly visits to the school library continue to promote reading for pleasure.

Teaching reading

We teach reading through:

  • Structured daily phonics
  • Group guided reading
  • Literacy weekly teaching structure
  • Whole class reciprocal reading, which focuses on comprehension knowledge and skills
  • Listening to pupils read individually
  • Reading for pleasure through dedicated story time.

Our literacy teaching timetable is focused around the teaching of reading and writing and is driven by a high quality focused text for a 3 week period, which will enable them to read the text and become fully immersed in the book. The start of the literacy teaching will be focused on introducing the text in an engaging way and will provide the children with the opportunity to unpick the text and the vocabulary used by the author. As part of the literacy teaching, talk for writing will also be used focused on developing the children’s speaking and listening skills. Writing will then be developed through the same focused text as children become confident to use writing to retell a familiar story.

Reading at home

We encourage all our pupils to read regularly at home. Children will bring home books which are matched to the stage of their reading development.
For early and developing readers phonics books will be sent home linked to the letters and sounds which have been taught. This will allow the children the opportunity to practise reading words by blending and segmenting enabling them to gain secure phonic knowledge.

In school we also use the Ginn 360 reading scheme. This helps young children develop good sight vocabulary of words which sometimes cannot be sounded out and which they will see and use often. It also introduces them to familiar characters which they will follow through a range of stories. This scheme provides a wide range of high quality reading books, which include poems, stories and information texts. Comprehension activities are also linked to a selection of the reading 360 books to allow pupils to further develop their understanding of what they have read.

As pupils become confident and fluent in their reading they will then be provided with a large range of books from other publishers. This will further develop children’s knowledge, vocabulary and language enabling them to continue to read for pleasure.

If you would like to know more about our reading scheme or how you can help at home please call into school and speak to your child’s class teacher.

National Curriculum 2014

In writing, pupils will have the opportunity to:

  • develop their skills as a writer through transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

Inspired by Chris Quigley Ltd

Pupils will be able to develop their skills as a writer by:

  • writing for a range of contexts including different purposes and audiences
  • practising writing throughout the school day and across all subjects
  • develop their understanding of different types of punctuation and the impact it has on the reader
  • expressing their own unique ideas through the texts they write
  • choosing the words they write carefully for effect
  • Carefully organising their writing
  • learning how to spell key words correctly in their writing
  • practising their handwriting making sure that it is correctly formed to make sure others can read it.

Our literacy teaching timetable is focused around the teaching of reading and writing and is driven by a high quality text which is taught for a 3 week period, this enables children to read the text and become fully immersed in the book. The start of the literacy teaching will be focused on introducing the text in an engaging way and will provide the children with the opportunity to unpick the text and the vocabulary used by the author. 

As part of the literacy teaching, talk for writing is used to support children in their composition of writing giving them the opportunity especially in the EYFS and Year 1 to organise and orally rehearse their sentence. During the following literacy sessions children will have the opportunity to develop their writing through taught daily writing sessions. The 3 week study of one text will work towards a final piece of writing which will be written independently.  Throughout each writing session children will be given high quality feedback which they act upon to actively improve their writing. 

The development of children’s phonics is a key skill that impacts on their progress as a reader and a writer. It is through their knowledge of phonics that children can put the correct sounds together in order to write a word that can be read by others or segment the sounds within a word in order to read it accurately.


Through a strong focus on the teaching of phonics we aim:

  • To teach children all of the sounds (including alternative pronunciations) included in each phase of the letters and sounds programme.
  • To teach children how to segment a word by saying each of the sounds in a word and blend the sounds back together.
  • To write words by writing each of the sounds they can hear in a word.
  • That children by the end of Year One will have developed a secure knowledge of all phonics sounds in order to develop as a fluent reader to access and enjoy a range of books.

Structure of phonics and resources to teach phonics

Throughout the school, pupils have a daily phonics session, which follows the letters and sounds structure of Revisit, Teach, Practise and Apply. Phonics is taught on a morning immediately after the daily register and will last for 20 minutes in Upper Foundation Stage and 25-30 minutes in Year One.

Revisit and review – The children have the opportunity to re-cap sounds that have already been taught to them.

Tricky words, specific to the year group, will be taught and revisited in this section. All tricky words specific to the year group will be displayed in the classroom and will be displayed in eye view of the child and within easy access for the teacher to refer to. Flash cards will be used to recap previously taught sounds. These will be shown to children at a quick pace to ensure that they develop pace when segmenting and blending sounds in words. There will be a quick assessment at that point to monitor which sounds the children are less confident with. These will be recapped throughout the week to ensure they become confident with the sounds. Flash word cards will be used to provide a quick segmenting and blending opportunity for children to read words containing previously taught sounds.

Teach– The new sound of the day is explicitly taught.

Teachers will be introducing the ‘new’ sound in an exciting way through a simple story/ sentence/ ‘wow’. This will provide an opportunity for the children to make meaning of the sound within a word/ context. For example, an image and sentence such as ‘play with the hay’ would introduce the ‘ay’ sound or a selection of lost coins could introduce the ‘oi’ sound.

Explicit teaching of the sound needs to take place such as teachers introducing whether the sound is a digraph, split digraph, etc and what this means and the individual letters which make up the new sound. Once children have heard the new sound they will practise saying the sound and the teacher will once again use the quick pace flash cards which will include the newly taught sound.

Practise– The children are given the opportunity to practise using the new sound, by reading and writing words containing this sound.

Teachers will provide children with an opportunity to read words containing the new sound using flash cards and/ or IWB. Sound buttons will be used as a strategy to help read at this point. The children will have 2 opportunities to read these words: the first time by orally segmenting and blending and the second time segmenting and blending in ‘their heads’ and then saying the word out loud. The teacher will dictate words (maximum of 3) containing the taught sounds for children to write. Children to use fingers to show the number of sound buttons and use the ‘pinch’ strategy to segment the sounds in the words. In Year One (or when felt that children are ready) the teacher will dictate a sentence for the children to write that includes the taught sound words and tricky words. Teachers and children will check the application of the sound/

Apply– The children are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the new sound independently in an activity where they may need to read or write words or sentences containing the new sound.

Children will be provided with a text/ book which contains the new sound and a range of tricky words so that they can read this independently. Teachers will be aware of the sounds that have been taught in the week and will be ensuring that children write and spell these words accurately during literacy lessons and during provision time. Children will be encouraged to refer to the classroom environment and displays to support their learning. Guided reading texts and reading books may be chosen linked to a specific sound to provide the children with further opportunity to apply the taught sound.

Phonics in the classroom environment

There will be consistent phonics displays across the classrooms. Each classroom will display tricky words relevant to the age group and all the phonics sounds which are taught in that year group. There will be a specific reference to the sound taught that day on the display. High quality phonic resources will be also available including sound flash cards, word flash cards and also other resources to support with spelling such as word cards, colour mats. Phonics learning lines and working walls will display the taught sounds for the week and will be added to throughout the week with words containing that sound. Each classroom area will have a well organised and stocked reading area with high quality books which the children can access. Phonics books will also be displayed in this area to provide pupils with a further opportunity to read independently the sound taught.

Interventions in phonics

Daily phonics interventions will take place for identified pupils who require additional support. This will be for approximately 10 minutes and will follow the same structure as shown above and will be delivered by a teaching assistant or higher level teaching assistant. This will focus on targeted pupils identified through recent assessments and will be based around sounds that the pupils do not know. For those pupils who are in KS1 and who require support with initial letter sounds they will be provided with an additional short 5 minute daily intervention using the flash cards to recap sounds. Additional phonics intervention will be delivered to targeted pupils through daily phonics breakfast clubs. This will focus on sounds which pupils are unfamiliar with or are not fully secure with. A sound a week will be focused on. The breakfast clubs will be led by teaching assistants who will regularly communicate with teachers regarding pupil progress.

Assessment of phonics 

Every half term a phonics assessment will take place with pupils and data and tracking will be kept in the class assessment book. This will assess pupils’ knowledge of the sounds that have been taught in that half term. It will also assess children’s blending and segmenting skills as they read the sound within real and nonsense words. From the assessments teachers will see the pupils who require further support and they will be provided with a targeted intervention. Pupils who are identified at risk of falling behind will be assessed more frequently. Daily assessment through the ‘speed sounds’ using flash cards will also take place by the teacher and teaching assistant. The reading lead will oversee the assessment of phonics and will analyse data and will monitor the impact of interventions.

Phonics screening check

The phonics screening check is an assessment for the pupils in Year One which takes place during the final summer term. The check assesses the children’s ability to segment and blend words effectively by reading a series of real and non-words (‘alien words’). The check takes place on a one to one basis with the child and their class teacher. Results are submitted and parents are informed whether their child has met the required standard or not. Any child who does not meet the required standard in Year One will have the opportunity to re-take the check the following year during Year Two.