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Sir Francis Hill Community Primary School

'Learn, Achieve, Succeed'


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Reading at Sir Francis Hill




At Sir Francis Hill, we acknowledge reading as a key driver for our curriculum. Therefore, our reading and phonics leads work closely together to ensure that every child reaches their potential by the time they move onto the next step in their education. We strongly believe that empowering a child with the ability to read fluently and widely will enable them to access all areas of the curriculum with more confidence. 

Our intention is that:

  •  All children are able to read a range of texts fluently, both non-fiction and fiction.  
  •  Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for pleasure and information. 
  •  Acquire a wide vocabulary and an understanding of grammar. 
  •  Develop their comprehension skills, both in listening and reading. 



Throughout Foundation stage and Key Stage 1, the teaching of phonics is predominant. Staff use the systematic teaching of phonics, which teaches learners to understand the relationship between sounds (phonemes) and the written letters (graphemes), which represent them. This is delivered using the synthetic phonics programme called 'Read Write Inc'. 


All children in Reception and KS1 have daily phonics lessons. The children are taught in small, ability-matched groups to ensure sessions are targeted to specific needs. Teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are challenged and to identify the children who may need additional support. 


Alongside teaching systematic, high quality phonics, we ensure children are developing their comprehension skills through reading a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. All children read aloud during their daily Read Write Inc lesson. In addition to this, children have opportunities to read regularly to adults within class, through 1-1 reading, whole class guided reading groups and with peers. Teachers also expose children to daily story time, to excite and engage all. This exposes children to new and varied vocabulary. 


When children become fluent readers they are introduced to Accelerated Reader. Accelerated Reader is a reading programme that aims to develop independent reading. After an initial quiz, children are given a unique ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) number, which allows them to choose books that match their current ability level. This allows children to choose their own books from our school library. When books have been read, children take a computer based quiz, which asks them questions about the story, further developing their comprehension skills. 


Whole class reading is introduced at the end of KS1 and continued throughout KS2. Reading lessons are delivered daily. Such lessons include regular class novel studies, non-fiction texts, poetry and lyrics. Teaching within these lessons focus on developing pupils’ reading skills inviting individual responses and interpretations rather than narrowly focused comprehension. 


Reading at home is paramount to children's development and parents are encouraged to read daily with their children. Children working on the 'Read Write Inc' programme take home a 'book bag book' which is matched directly to their current phonic level. These books are changed weekly, to allow children to re-read multiple times to build up fluency and develop early comprehension skills. As children progress through school and become fluent readers, they have the opportunity to choose their own home/school books from the school library. 



Throughout their time at Sir Francis Hill, children will be exposed to high quality phonics teaching and immersed in a vocabulary rich environment, which will allow them to become confident, fluent readers. They will be able to apply their reading skills throughout the curriculum and within everyday life. Children will understand that they can access information through text and will have fostered the love of reading for pleasure, by enjoying a variety of texts.




Reading information for parents