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Reading & Phonics

Reading plays a big part in learning in our school and its foundations lie in a strong focus on Phonics from the very moment the children start school. We are proud of our attainment and progress in phonics and reading throughout the school; however we never rest on our laurels and are always looking at ways to continuously improve.  We have a well stocked library, ensure that children have a class story read to them each day (in all year groups) and we match our  texts in Guided Reading and Humanities/Science to the topic being taught, ensuring we are ambitious in our choices in order to challenge the children. We base our reading curriculum content on the EYFS and national curriculum milestones and we also break these down termly so we know that learning to read is based on a progressive model. Our progressive reading curriculum is based on the Cornerstones programme.  We have recently launched our '101 books to read before leaving High Ash' as a scheme to encourage a life-long love of reading.  

We ensure that our children read good quality fiction and non-fiction texts. 

Reading and Phonics Leader- Mrs Natalie Barrasford

All Phase Leaders are also responsible for Reading within their year groups and this is monitored and overseen by the Senior Leadership Team.

We use Read Write Inc as our Phonics programme and this is in place across Foundation and Key Stage One. Phonics is taught daily in Foundation and KS1 at 9am and the children are in small, fluid ability groups to allow us to maximise their progress. We track their progress in Phonics every six weeks and adapt provision/groupings accordingly. 

In Foundation Stage and KS1, reading books are linked to the phonics sounds being taught and builds on their blending skills and knowledge of 'red words'- these are words that they need to know by sight as cannot be sounded out phonetically.

The video below given an example of Phonics is taught and please also look at our Phonics Support Materials attached below which shows how phonics progresses in Foundation and KS1.


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Early Reading in Key Stage One

In Year One and Two, the children follow the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme and progress through the stages as guided by their teacher and which build on their blending, developing fluency, accuracy and understanding.

Guided Reading is taught daily in Key Stage One, which ensures the children become confident readers and develops their comprehension and inference skills. Reading is assessed regularly using the milestones from our Cornerstones Assessment framework as well as the national reading standards at the end of Year Two.

Children take home reading books linked to their phonics stage, yet also a library book for an adult to read at home to them. This really  supports a love of reading and develops vocabulary.

We also provide additional interventions to support children with reading if needed.


Reading in Key Stage Two

We aim to triangulate our reading in Key Stage Two so that Guided Reading, class novel and texts in Topic are all linked in order to support reading enjoyment, broaden vocabulary and  secure knowledge acquisition.

Guided Reading is taught at least three times a week and is based on a whole class approach to Guided Reading. In addition to this, our English teaching sequence always starts with a reading week and a focus on vocabulary. 

Reading is assessed regularly using the milestones from our assessment framework as well as the national reading standards at the end of Year Six.

For children who may need extra support we also provide a range of reading interventions lead by our intervention teachers and teaching assistants.


101 Books to read before leaving High Ash

High Ash CE is dedicated to inspiring more children to read for pleasure.  We truly believe that reading is one of the most important aspects to achieving success in life.

One of our top priorities is to instil a love for reading in our pupils.  We believe that by fostering a love for books, we are opening doors to endless possibilities for our children.  With this in mind, it is our responsibility to promote and encourage a reading culture within our school.  To achieve this goal, we have compiled a list of 101 books for children to read before they leave High Ash School.

These books have been carefully selected to provide a diverse and interesting range of reading experiences for our children.   As they progress through school, they can aim to read the books on the list and mark them off.  We hope that this will not only encourage a love for reading but also challenge our pupils to explore different genres and authors.

We believe that through this initiative our children will develop a love for reading that will last a lifetime and open up a world of knowledge and imagination.  This list is by no means an exhaustive list nor one that children must complete, yet it is something which may support parents when finding books for children to read at home.  There are no extrinsic rewards for completing the list other than the rich reading experience your child will receive.