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Coltishall Primary School

Reading & Phonics

Our aim is for children at Coltishall to be avid readers who read fluently, widely and for pleasure, to have opinions about what they read and to express preferences. We want them to access a wide range of text types, genres and authors during their time at Coltishall.

Beyond this it is vital that our children are able to access the information about the world in which we live and to understand its people past and present. Being informed and well read, being able to express thoughts and opinions clearly and coherently, being able to listen with understanding is the way in which our children will contribute to and take their place in a fair and more tolerant world.

Coltishall Primary School Reading Spine hopes to foster a love of reading and to take children on a ‘journey’ throughout their time at our school, experiencing writers and stories from a variety of eras, places, backgrounds and ethnic origins. We celebrate diversity and have chosen a wide variety of themes and genres as part of each year group’s suggested text list. We have worked hard to ensure children are exposed to both modern and classic texts, texts written by both men and women, texts linked to foundation subjects and current affairs, and texts that promote discussion around our school values. Children are immersed in different text types during English lessons, whole class reading, foundation subjects, library time and during our class ‘love of reading’ time.

S.E.N.D. Readers

Regular Phonics Keep Up and intervention groups are timetabled to aid children to practice sounds and blending.  These include multi-sensory approaches and lots of repetition and review of phonics taught in class.  In some instances, children who have not passed the phonics screening test by the end of key stage one (Year Two) will continue to benefit from direct phonics teaching by joining phonics groups at the appropriate level in key stage one but will more usually work in small phonics/spelling groups to revisit phase 2-5 phonics progression as necessary, following an assessment to find out any GPCs the children are not secure in.

Some key stage two pupils are directed to choose a phased reading book alongside their library book, if they are working below age related expectations or need further practice of fluency development.  In Lower Key Stage Two, children who are working below age related expectations in reading access regular small group interventions in phonics/decoding and fluency/reading development, in place of whole class spelling and whole class reading teaching.

We also use Accelerated Reader (AR) - this includes a ‘Star Reader’ assessment (to assess fluency regularly) and directs children to select books within a particular range in order to help progress their reading development at a rate that suits them.


At Coltishall we are supported in our efforts to teach reading. We have parent volunteers who have been trained to do two things. Firstly, they know how to listen to children read and secondly, they know how to read to children who aren't read to regularly at home. They come into school and work with the same children every week, for a term or longer. The training they have received enables them to encourage fluency development, to deploy the VIPERS techniques and to know about our Little Wandle Letters and Sounds phonics programme. Teachers identify pupils who need to be read to and ensure too, that all children are heard regularly. 


Reading for Pleasure


Each class has timetabled daily reading for pleasure time. This might include quiet reading, book groups, book talk, class reading communities and sharing recommendations. Our school library is open at lunchtimes and buddy group children share books with their peers on the playground during breaks. We also have a half termly reading for pleasure assembly where teachers recommend books from our school library to the children, and through our book tokens scheme, children have the opportunity to win books to read at home.