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Hobletts Manor Infants' and Nursery School
Achievement for all

Phonics and Reading


We believe that success in reading opens doors to a world of knowledge and wonder.


At Hobletts Manor Infants' and Nursery we strive for our children to be independent and resilient but to know that, when things seem overwhelming, there is always a guiding hand available from everyone in our school community. We aim to create successful citizens of the future who have a positive mind set and are resilient and prepared for their journey through the ever-changing world in which we live. Reading is a complex skill with many components. Successful approaches to the teaching of reading should encourage children to use a variety of strategies in their pursuit of meaning.  It is important to lay firm foundations in this crucial area of the curriculum and establish a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading.


Here at Hobletts Manor, we aim to:


  • To develop a love of books and reading.
  • To develop reading strategies and skills: fluency, accuracy, understanding and
    response to different texts.
  • Develop children`s experiences through a variety of text including the use of libraries, ICT and other available media.
  • Develop the ability to use and manipulate a variety of texts, both fiction and non-fiction.
  • To create a strong, embedded reading culture through a rich language environment within classrooms and the wider school environment.
  • To deliver a structured and consistent whole school approach to reading.
  • To recognise the value of parents / carers as essential components in supporting and developing children’s reading skills and love of reading.
  • To rigorously monitor and assess children’s progress in reading and identify those who require extra support and intervene at an early stage.



We follow the Essential Letters and Sounds scheme of phonics teaching. Each child in Reception and Yr1 has a daily, minimum 20-30 minute phonics lesson, following the teaching sequence of review, teach, practise and apply. In Yr2, children access a balance of both phonic and spelling punctuation and grammar (SPAG) lessons based on their individual needs and attainment. Reception and KS1 children are mainly taught as a whole class or sometimes put into small groups, based on regular assessments so that children’s learning needs are accurately matched to the correct provision. Small phonic sessions or interventions are delivered by teaching assistants or the class teacher.
In a session, children are taught either phonemes, digraphs, trigraphs, high frequency and/or hard to read words and these are consolidated through reading and writing. There are lots of opportunities to speak and listen, as well as to read and write the sounds.


At the end of Year 1 children have to take the national Phonics Test which tests children’s phonic knowledge. Here, they are required to read real and nonsense words, applying the skills they have learnt. Ideally children will have completed and consolidated Phase 5 during Year 1 and Phase 6 during Year 2, so that they can focus more on higher-level comprehension using increasingly challenging texts.


Our Reading Spine is a core of books that create a living library inside our children's minds. Our spine has been chosen carefully to deepen understanding and fostering a love of reading from Nursery through to Year 2.

The Teaching of Reading


In Reception and KS1, all children take part in regular reading lessons that focus on promoting the children’s phonics knowledge and decoding at word level, reading for enjoyment, developing reading stamina, and exploring texts to improve comprehension skills. Children are engaged in reading a variety of carefully selected books within a group setting or a whole class setting. Each group is assigned a particular book, matched to their reading ability.


Reception and Year 1

In Year 1 each group works with the class teacher at least once a week so the teacher can hear each child read and chart progress which informs teachers’ future planning. Children read aloud to the class teacher and their peers and discuss what they have read through targeted questioning. The small, differentiated groups provide a relaxed, focused setting for children to share their thoughts and opinions about what they have been reading. Children are supported in understanding and responding to texts, and are taught appropriate technical vocabulary to articulate their responses.


Year 2

To begin with, the children in Year Two follow the same format as Reception and Year One by reading with the class teacher in a small group once a week. 


Further on into the year, ‘Whole Class Guided Reading’ is taught. Teachers select high quality texts which cater for all reading abilities and these are read aloud each day. Children read the same text several times throughout the week, and are able to recognise familiar vocabulary the more times they read and hear the story read to them in class. The class teacher hears every child read throughout the week.  Teachers ensure that key comprehension skills are focused on and developed thoroughly throughout these sessions. 


In class children are exposed to a variety of questions and learn the skills needed to answer them and develop their reading comprehension through these 5 key areas. The approach allows our pupils to encounter a wide range of high quality texts, engage with reading in an enjoyable, exciting way and improve their reading skills and articulate responses all at once.


Comprehension skills:


  • draw on knowledge of vocabulary to understand texts
  • identify / explain key aspects of fiction and non-fiction texts, such as characters, events, titles and information
  • identify and explain the sequence of events in texts
  • make inferences from the text
  • predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far