Reading & Phonics

The ability to read is fundamental to pupils’ learning across the curriculum, their ability to be independent and their future life choices, allowing them to 'Let their Lights Shine.'

At the heart of our teaching are our Christian Values, our BOOKS approach to learning (Bravery, Outward-facing, Opportunities, Knowledge and Skills and Spirituality) and our desire to make sure every child can Let Their Light Shine (Matthew 5). 


Reading development is closely related to that of phonics, speaking and listening and of writing. By reflecting upon and talking about the stories and texts they encounter, pupils are better able to make sense of their own experiences of the world and their place in it; by considering the effects of language and structures used by writers, pupils are able to make deliberate stylistic choices in their own writing.

'So it is with children who learn to read fluently and well: They begin to take flight into whole new worlds as effortlessly as young birds take to the sky.' (William James)

As a school we use a wide range of reading schemes that are book banded and we use a synthetic approach to phonics to support the development of early reading.

Our Aims

  • To teach the essential skill of reading and develop this to a high standard for all pupils.
  • To promote a culture of reading for learning and reading for pleasure.
  • To benefit from a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics from entry to school
  • To have regular access to high quality phonics teaching which secures the crucial skills of work recognition that enables children to read fluently, freeing them to concentrate on the meaning of the text
  • To encourage children to attempt to spell words for themselves, within the range of their subject knowledge, by building an individual repertoire and the confidence and strategies to attempt the unfamiliar
  • To help children to use the skills of blending and segmenting in order to read and spell words
  • To facilitate independent learning and progress across the curriculum.
  • To prepare pupils for the next stage in their education.

All phonics in EYFS and Year 1 is taught following the Little Wandle programme. Pupils from Year 2 onwards engage in Pathways to Read lessons, Pathways to Write and Pathways to spell. We have also integrated Little Wandle's Bridge to Spelling and Fluency in autumn term of Y2. Take a look at the page 'Little Wandle' to see more of the progression of GPCs (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence).

Children in EYFS and Year 1 will bring home a Little Wandle reading book each week that they have already read with an adult in school three time. This book is closely matched to their current phonic knowledge and as such should be fully decodable. They will be feeling confident with this book at home so the focus is on enjoyment and confidence-building, with lots of prosody! Please aim to read this book at least three more times within the week. Year 1 will also take home a 'choosing' book which will probably not be fully decodable for your child so the expectation is to share this book rather than expect them to read every bit of it. The choice of book is up to them and they can change it whenever they want as often as they want. We will also give them a weekly opportunity to visit our well-stocked and lovely library full of picture and non fiction books. We want to encourage a love of reading through experiencing success when reading at home and having quality story time with a wide range of books, so please enjoy!

The best way to help your child achieve well in reading and indeed across the curriculum is to hear them read and share and discuss a variety of reading materials as often as you can. We strongly advise to strive for five times a week. This will develop the good reading habits that will enable them to be successful in school and beyond. High quality books and other reading resources in the classrooms and around school help to inspire and motivate children to read. We particularly love our Mystery Reader sessions on a Friday in KS1 and EYFS!

At the end of Year 1, our children will take the national test in phonics. More information on this can be found on the Year 1 Rabbits & Squirrels' class pages.


Tarporley CE Primary, Park Road, Tarporley, Cheshire, CW6 0AN

Tel: 01829 708188 | Email:

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