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How We Teach Reading

At Lee Brigg Infant and Nursery School we aim to develop children into confident and capable communicators.

Developing language skills enables children to effectively communicate their thoughts, feelings, experiences and ideas and therefore we strive to give children quality first experiences to interact, discuss and communicate effectively.


Please also visit our English curriculum page.


Reading Newsletters

Issue 1:  Autumn 2021


One way we promote and develop our children’s communication and vocabulary skills is through the teaching of reading.


Learning to read is one of the most important skills your child will achieve at our school and we aim to promote an enthusiasm for reading as soon as children enter the school.


Lee Brigg Infant & Nursery School has a clear and consistent, whole school approach to the teaching of reading. Competence in reading is the key to lifelong learning and is given the highest priority, enabling children to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers. Success in reading has a direct effect upon progress in all areas of the curriculum and is crucial in developing children’s confidence and motivation.


The Teaching of Reading

At Lee Brigg Infant and Nursery School we teach reading through a blend of focussed phonic sessions, group and whole class guided reading sessions, individual reading, shared reading across the curriculum and the opportunity to read for pleasure. A love of books and reading is also developed through a range of exciting and stimulating texts which are used as a stimulus and underpin the cross curricular themes across a range of subjects.


Effective teaching and learning in phonics is essential if young children are to read and write well. Please follow this link to learn ‘How we teach phonics at Lee Brigg Infant and Nursery School.’

In all classes children have access to at least 1 guided reading session and/or at least 1 independent reading session per week with the class teacher.


Children read from a variety of schemes including:

  • Collins Big Cat (including Big Cat Phonics. Phonics Progress, Letters and Sounds)
  • Songbird Phonics
  • Pearson Phonics Bug
  • Fireflies
  • Tree Tops
  • Project X
  • Oxford Reading Tree (including Traditional Tales, Infact, Explore and Floppy’s Phonics)
  • All Stars
  • Ginn 360
  • Story Sparks
  • Jelly and Bean

All books in school are banded according to the phonic ability (up to and including Phase 5). Within each band we provide a range of different books, with some at different levels of text composition. Children can therefore take home a book that is in line with the phonics and common exception words that they have learnt in class. This allows them to practise new learning and become confident, fluent readers.


Once they have progressed through these, books are then banded to meet the needs of the children who have passed the phonics check and are working towards the standards set for the end of Year 2.


Teachers teach the full range of reading strategies including phonic and grammatical knowledge, word recognition, graphic and contextual knowledge and they regularly check children’s reading skills, so they can ensure children have consolidated and developed their reading skills. Children also engage in independent and adult supported English tasks which include phonic and reading tasks to further develop their reading skills.


Once children have learnt to read independently, children then learn and apply skills based upon the strategies of Reciprocal Teaching. Children continue to work on deepening their understanding of stories and texts through daily group or whole class guided reading sessions. In these sessions we teach and model the following reading strategies:

  • Summarising
  •  Predicting
  •  Clarifying
  •  Questioning
  •  Inference
  •  Making Connections
  •  Evaluating

Children read books or short sections of texts independently and then discuss them, building their understanding through dialogue.

If children are working below their chronological reading age, targeted intervention and support is put in place.


At Lee Brigg Infant and Nursery School, we ensure all children read widely across fiction and non-fiction including different genres, poetry, comics and texts that promote cross curricular links.

Topic linked texts are included in our knowledge and skills based curriculum, to enhance children’s learning, particularly the development of their vocabulary skills. Each year group has a set of 10 high quality texts that are read to children regularly. This ensures that reading is correctly modelled, as well as giving the children opportunities to internalise story structures and enhance their vocabulary, REACT questions are used by staff from Nursery up to Year 2 to prompt children’s thinking about the text and provide an element of challenge.


Staff, through daily story time sessions, read from a range of authors – modern and classic and select the books carefully in order to broaden children’s experiences and vocabulary. Story telling is just one opportunity where staff can open the eyes of children to a world that they may never know.


Our Reading Promise

The Staff at Lee Brigg Infant and Nursery School offer our children a reading promise:


  • You will have a story read to you every day
  • You will have a new reading book at least once a week
  • A teacher will listen to you read at least once a week
  • You will learn about key author

In return we ask our children to read at home as often as they can.


Home Reading

All children will take a reading book home daily. If they are reading regularly at home, they can change these books as often as they like (under the guidance of the class teacher). Children are also able to borrow books from the school, class and outdoor libraries should they wish to do so. We also carefully monitor the children’s reading at home and encourage parents to be fully active and engaged with us in this, in order to support their children’s ongoing development. As well as their reading books, children take home flash cards to practise and develop their recognition of High Frequency Words.


Working in Partnership with Parents

At Lee Brigg Infant and Nursery school we want to encourage every child to read with a grown up at home every night. Children who read with their families grow in confidence much more quickly and develop a love of reading that can last a lifetime. In recognition of the important role parents have we hope our home/school reading initiatives will motivate children to read at home whilst earning ‘rewards’ for their efforts.

We hold a meeting all parents early in the autumn term in order to explain our reading schemes, procedures and expectations. Throughout the year we offer sessions for parents of children in all year groups, to explain how they can support with reading development at home.


Hints for listening to your child read

  • When reading together at home try to make the time relaxed, enjoyable and positive.
  • Vary it. Read together, read to your child and take turns or have them read to you.
  • Before reading, talk about the cover, the title and the pictures, and discuss what the book may be about.
  • During reading, discuss what has been read up to that point and predict what might happen next.

Reading Volunteers
The school actively encourages parents and carers to volunteer their time in school to support reading.

Please contact the school office if you are interested in supporting reading in school.


List of common exception words / high frequency words for year groups

Please follow this link for further advice for parents/carers Oxford Owl.

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