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Hobletts Manor Infants' and Nursery School
Achievement for all

Reading and Phonics

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.


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


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.


In Early Years and Key Stage 1, we incorporate the Talk for Writing model into the teaching of writing. Children are taught writing skills through studying a range of both fiction and non-fiction texts including teacher produced models. Children are encouraged and supported to learn texts by heart, before trying to innovate them and gradually apply more independent changes to the model until they can write freely with confidence. In addition, in Key Stage 1, picture books and topic work are used as a stimulus for writing.


We follow the Letters and Sounds scheme of phonics teaching. Each child in Reception and Yr1 has a daily, minimum 20-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 either 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 and overseen by the class teacher.
In a session, children are taught either phonemes, digraphs, trigraphs, high frequency and/or tricky 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.

Guided Reading


In Reception and KS1, all children take part in regular guided 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.



Children are explicitly taught the skills of reading (outlined in the National Curriculum) through the use of VIPERS which were created by Rob Smith (The Literacy Shed).

 In KS1, ‘Explain’; is not one of the content domains, rather it asks children why they have come to a certain conclusion, to explain their preferences, thoughts and opinions about a text.


KS1 Curriculum


1a draw on knowledge of vocabulary to understand texts


1b identify/ explain key aspects of fiction and non-fiction, such as characters, events, titles and information.


1c identify and explain the sequences of events in texts


1d make inferences from the text


1e predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far



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

In Year 2, ‘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 once and this is recorded in each child’s reading record at the end of the session. At Hobletts Manor Infants’ and Nursery School, we use ‘The Literacy Shed’ and the ‘Reading VIPERS’ as a key resource for teaching whole class guided reading in Year 2. Reading Vipers are linked to the KS1 content domains and cover the key comprehension skills assessed at the end of KS1.


VIPERS is an acronym and stands for:









In class children are explicitly taught the ‘lens’ each VIPERS questions are asked through and they learn the skills needed to answer questions and develop their reading comprehension through these 6 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.