Reading rationale

Our overarching aim is for all children to read fluently, understanding both fiction and non-fiction. We encourage reading for pleasure by promoting acclaimed authors, sharing quality literature in story time and ensuring that book corners are stimulating with good quality texts in class and our school library. We ensure that reading is at the heart of all curriculum subjects and believe that every opportunity should be exploited to build stamina and provide independent learning opportunities through reading. Our expectations for reading at home are ambitious with all children encouraged to read daily and for increased periods of time as they progress through school.

We value the role that literature has to play in developing children culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Our goal is for all children to be able to participate fully in society and realise the importance of language to ensure that this is achieved.

We place the learning of vocabulary at the heart of all curriculum areas, building systematically on current knowledge. By the end of Key Stage 2 children are confident in their use of precise mathematical and scientific vocabulary and vocabulary specific to individual subject areas.


At Redhill we teach phonics in a systematic way, following the highly structured Essential Letters and Sounds programme (ELS). It is rigorous, engaging and supports all children in the skills needed to become confident with reading and writing . Throughout the Early Years and KS1 we teach phonics daily, with a high focus on application within each session . To ensure the children are confident with the application, phonics is embedded throughout the curriculum in both reading and writing. The guided reading books are carefully matched and fully decodable with the graphemes the children are being taught in line with the ELS programme. The teaching of phonics is multi-sensory, encompassing simultaneous visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities to develop core learning. Parents are also invited into school to take part in phonic workshops and to observe phonics teaching in school.
  • Phonics is taught daily at a brisk pace
  • It is also developed across the curriculum
  • Progress is assessed daily and monitored through the use of AFL strategies and through individual assessments at the end of each phase
  • The phonics screening test is taken by all Year 1 children in June each year, with those children in Year 2 who did not achieve the threshold assessed again.
  • A whole school planning format is used to promote consistency and continuity. Each session includes the essential - revisit and review, teach, practice, apply and assess.
All children and parents have access to the Oxford Owl Website where they can access information and resources to support learning at home using the child’s individual login details.

Here you will be able to access the fully decodable reading books set by the class teachers as well as support with fun activities to do at home.


Our reading programme is tightly matched to our phonics teaching. Children read daily in guided groups. As a school, we ensure that children read phonetically decodable texts until they have completed end of phase 5 in the ELS programme. This enables the children to use their knowledge of phonemes to decode words. The teaching of high frequency words or tricky words at each stage of the letters and sounds programme also supports the reading development.  The children have a range of book banded narrative and non-narrative books to choose from throughout school. The provision of books is meticulously organised, from when the children start in the nursery through to end of key stage 2.

As the children develop their ability to decode phonetically, the comprehension of text increases in importance with guided sessions focused on inference and deduction, developing a wider vocabulary and broadening the knowledge of authors, genres and themes.

In KS2, we have introduced whole class reading, as evidence has shown that this approach to the teaching of reading supports the development of children’s comprehension skills, fluency and stamina. Teachers ensure that the text chosen is appropriate to the ability of the class and provide children with a range of questions to develop all areas of their comprehension skills. Higher order questions extend the more able, with additional support or differentiated texts and questions provided for children who are not yet ready to access the whole class text.

All children should read widely for pleasure and for information across all areas of the curriculum. The library is used to develop independent research and to provide all children with a quiet and well-resourced area to read for enjoyment.


  • Be able to read in ways that ensure learning across the curriculum;
  • Be able to read with fluency and confidence;
  • See reading as enjoyable, rewarding and worthwhile;
  • Be able to gain access to a wide range of reading materials for different purposes;
  • Become critical readers: increasingly able to see how texts create effects and meanings; able to place their own ideas, experiences and values in relation to those of the text.
  • Use the principles recommended by the Rose review focusing in the early stages of reading on using phonic strategies to decode words.
  • In the Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and when appropriate lower Key Stage 2, we have daily discrete essential letter and sounds sessions.
  • Throughout the school we have daily guided reading sessions outside of the Literacy session.
  • The teacher plans and leads this making use of different types of questions related to the assessment focuses.
  • The teacher records observations from these sessions to inform assessments.
  • Teachers and teaching assistants also listen to children read individually as often as possible and record.


Click here to download and view the Redhill reading policy

Advice on reading with your child

  • Try taking it in turns to read. That allows you to model using punctuation to control pace.
  • Encourage your child to break down tricky words and sound them out.
  • Pause at regular intervals to check understanding.
  • Older, more confident readers may not want to read aloud to you. Encourage older readers to summarise the plot so far, talk about what the characters are like and ask them to make predictions about what might happen next.

Our Reading Environments