Reading and phonics

At Hamsey School we aim to teach reading in a way that not only enables children to become competent in this key skill, but also nurtures a love of reading for life. As soon as children join us they are immersed in high quality literature and, throughout the school, children are encouraged to become confident, independent readers who read for pleasure.


We believe that regular high quality phonics teaching is an essential tool in teaching children to read. Phonics lessons start in the first few weeks after children have joined Reception, when they enjoy the multi –sensory approach of Jolly Phonics lessons, before progressing to Letters and Sounds, which is used throughout Key Stage 1. We ensure there is plenty of opportunity to apply the skills taught in these discrete lessons through individual and group reading sessions, as well as throughout the curriculum.


All children have access to a wide range of books and early reading books are carefully levelled so that children read texts that match their developing skills. Scheme books include Big Cat and Rigby Star.


As well as teaching these first reading skills through simple texts, we also develop children’s deeper understanding of books through reading and working with high quality texts. These include picture books, poetry books, traditional tales, a wide range of fiction and information books.


All children are expected to read at home and we encourage our parents and carers to become part of the school reading community by reading with their children as often as possible. Each year we hold a ‘Phonics and Early Reading’ workshop so that parents understand the best way to support their children with reading at home.


Some parents and other members of Hamsey community also read with pupils in school each week.