Our approach to phonics and reading


At Hedon Primary School we believe that reading is an essential life skill and we are committed to enabling our children to become lifelong readers.

At the heart of our strategy is our drive to foster a love of reading, enriching children’s learning through carefully designed teaching activities that utilise imaginative stories and thought provoking texts.

Reading is a skill that enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundations for success in future lines of study and employment. We recognise the importance of taking a consistent whole federation approach to the teaching of reading in order to close any gaps and to target the highest possible number of children attaining the expected standard or higher.

We have high expectations of all children and we encourage children to challenge themselves, persevere and pursue success, always ‘reaching for the stars’

Reading and Phonics Implementation:

Foundation/Key Stage 1

Children first learn their letter sounds and names then apply these to word building. We use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds as the basis for our teaching of phonics. This is a recognised synthetic phonic schemes. The children will also learn a variety of other key words by sight. In reception and year 1 children read with an adult three times a week as part of a group. Once they are immersed in a text, this book is taken home to enjoy with their grownups. These children also benefit from a reading for pleasure book which is taken home weekly to share.

From year 2 upwards, children read individually, in small groups and as a whole class. A variety of different genres are chosen at an appropriate level of ability for each group of children. As well as being able to read the text, children are encouraged to discuss the content of the book and their opinions about people, places and events are sought. The abler readers will be asked about the varied themes of different texts.

Whole class reading is used to develop inference, retrieval and prediction skills. Children spend time discussing each chapter of their class book or section of text length thinking about new vocabulary and really getting to grips with what the text means. In this way pupils are taught to not just decode texts but understand them fully.

Our core reading scheme in Key Stage 1 is Little Wandle Big Cats with Rising Star Reading Rockets and Oxford reading Tree moving into Year 2.

Children who have not met the required standard for phonics in Year 1 or 2 continue to have booster phonics sessions working through the phases either individually or in small group sessions. This continues across Key Stage 2 if necessary. Children who are catching up are encouraged to take home a new phonics reading book after each session. Where children do not read at home, staff facilitate extra reading sessions in the school day.

Please use the link below to access Little Wandle parent support materials:

Key Stage 2

Through independent reading, shared reading in literacy lessons and cross-curricular sessions, whole class reading and reading for pleasure, reading in Key Stage 2 develops and extends the skills acquired in Key Stage 1. In whole class reading, pupils work with their peers to pull apart texts, understand them deeply and learn how to formulate their own ideas from what they have read. Each week is structured to ensure all reading skills are covered and vocabulary is at the heart of the learning.

Children explore a wide variety of genre, both fiction and non-fiction which allows them to access, input ideas and understand what they are reading. They are given opportunities to speculate on the tone and purpose of texts they explore as well as consider both the texts’ themes and audience.

We have a wide range of high quality texts which both stretch and excite our pupils. Specific books have been purchased to interest both boys and girls. We also have a selection of high interest, low ability readers’ materials.

Our reading scheme ensures children are offered books that reflect the diversity of our modern world.

Children work through the wide variety of books at their own pace. Teachers monitor their progress and determine when best for children to move onto the next stage, ensuring that a range of titles have been explored and understood.


As we believe that reading is key to all learning, the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the result of statutory assessments. Children have the opportunity to enter the wide and varied magical worlds that reading opens up to them. As they develop their own interest in books, a deep love of literature across a range of genres cultures and styles is enhanced.

Through the teaching of systematic phonics and reading enquiry, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers who can apply their knowledge and experience to a range of texts through the curriculum.

As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.

Hedon’s Reading Heroes

At Hedon Primary School we reward regular reading. Children are encouraged to read at home daily and record something interesting about what they have read in their reading record. These reads are counted and logged towards coloured reading bands which can be proudly worn for school each day.

VIP Readers

Children reading over and above the expected number of time at home each week (3 times in Key Stage 1 and 4 times in Key Stage 2), are given a raffle ticket per additional read. One raffle ticket per class is drawn in our Friday Celebration Assembly. The weekly Reading VIP enjoys special privileges in school. These include being able to queue jump to the front of any line and free toast from the school snack shop.

Our Virtual Library

Please click on the link below to access our virtual library. The books have been specially chosen to link to our Personal, Social, Citizenship and Health Education. It also contains some of our favourite books. Click on the books on the shelves to hear the stories being read.

Please click here: